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Man Claims Ownership of Pit Bull Injured in Fall From BQE, Vet Says

By Serena Dai | July 31, 2014 6:23pm
 Oliver Rivera with Wookie, a pit bull who fell over the BQE Tuesday evening
Oliver Rivera with Wookie, a pit bull who fell over the BQE Tuesday evening
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Facebook/VERG Brooklyn

GREENPOINT — A man stepped forward Thursday to claim a young pit bull who fell off the BQE this week — though officials are still investigating whether the pet was thrown over or not.

Oliver Rivera, 22, went to Cobble Hill veterinary emergency services clinic VERG Brooklyn claiming that he was the owner of the pet, named "Wookie," according to Natalie Herring, a manager at the clinic.

Herring said that he had filed a missing pet report and appeared to be the owner.

"Wookie was very happy to see the owner," she said.

Wookie suffered multiple trauma injuries after falling from the BQE Tuesday evening — an incident that witnesses said looked like the animal had been thrown.

 A 50-pound pit bull fell from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at Manhattan Avenue Tuesday, witnesses said. It fell "belly up," they said, as if it had been thrown.
Pit Bull Falls from BQE
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The bridge varies from 14 feet, 7 inches tall to 17 feet, 11 inches tall, according to a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

After landing at Manhattan Avenue and Meeker, multiple witnesses gathered to help the fallen pit bull, which bled from its mouth and injured its front leg from the fall.

Ultimately, the good Samaritans sent it to VERG for care, where Wookie remains now.

Rivera was quiet and upfront when he came in Thursday, asking the front desk repeatedly when he could see his pet, Herring said.

Rivera told the clinic that he went inside his house on Bayard Street in Greenpoint, near McCarren Park, and let a friend hold onto Wookie's leash.

When he came back outside, Wookie slipped out of the leash and ran away, he told the clinic.

Officials are still investigating the incident, according to a police spokesman.

VERG is holding to to the pet until the investigation is complete and Wookie is healed, Herring said.

The 50-pound pit bull is in stable condition but may still need surgery and currently requires constant care. He is still in the intensive care unit.

"We're keeping a close eye on him," she said.