GREENPOINT — A 50-pound pit bull was bleeding from its mouth and couldn't stand Tuesday evening after it fell belly up from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at Manhattan Avenue — as if it "had been thrown out of a car," witnesses said.
About a dozen people gathered around the dog after it landed on the north side of the BQE at Meeker Avenue. There was "blood everywhere," witnesses said.
Mariah Hutchings, 24, was biking with two co-workers when she saw the dog fall straight down from the expressway around 6:15 p.m., she said.
"We were horrified that someone could have done that," Hutchings said.
While it wasn't clear if the dog had jumped or was thrown, Hutchings and her co-workers said that the way the dog landed, and the high BQE wall, made them believe it was thrown.
The height under the bridge at Manhattan Avenue varies between 14 feet, 7 inches and 17 feet, 11 inches, depending on the location, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.
One car barely avoided hitting the dog. After stopping, the driver got out to help the injured animal, witnesses said, ultimately driving it to Cobble Hill emergency clinic VERG Brooklyn.
The dog, which is between two and five years old, has trauma injuries, including an injured front leg and pneumothorax, which is when air gets trapped in the chest, according to Maria Moss, director of communications at VERG Brooklyn.
The fall also fractured one of the dog's teeth, which caused the bleeding, Moss said.
But besides the trauma injuries, the dog appeared healthy, bright and alert, she said. He is now in stable condition in the intensive care unit, she added.
"Everybody loves him," she said. "He's a sweetheart."
Witnesses said the incident brought together bikers, the driver and local neighbors, as they rushed to their apartments for helpful supplies like a blanket, water and towels.
Police arrived about 30 minutes after the fall, but several people on the scene said the officers only offered to take the pit bull to a local shelter to be put down.
Greenpoint resident Lacie Zassman, 25, was walking home when she saw the scene. By the time police arrived, she had already connected with VERG, which said it would take care of the dog.
"The cop was like 'This is what happens with pit bulls. People are afraid of pit bulls'," Zassman said. "We said, 'Screw you, we're just going to go to the clinic anyway.'"
Zassman, Queens resident Kristine Taylor, 35, and the driver that almost collided with the dog all went together to VERG.
"The dog was so sweet," Zassman said. "He wasn't biting. He wasn't growling."
The incident is under investigation by the 94th Precinct, an NYPD spokesman said.
VERG's veterinarians expect the dog to make a full recovery, though it may take "some time," Moss said. The clinic works with non-profit Positive Tails to help neglected animals, and together they will try to find the pet a new home, she said.
They are encouraging anyone with information to contact 311.
"We just want to know information, try to find out who did this," said Moss.