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Jogger arrested for having dog off leash

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Police in the Prater. File photo: APA/NEUBAUER
11:21 CET+01:00
A jogger who was handcuffed by police for running with his dog off the leash in a Vienna park is warning other dog owners in the capital to be wary of heavy-handed cops.

Christian Schneider (55) told the Heute newspaper that he went for a run in the Prater on Tuesday morning with his 13-year-old dog called Meggy when he was stopped by a police officer on a bicycle who asked for his ID.

“I didn’t have my identity papers on me - and I didn’t want the officer to come back to my flat,” Schneider told Heute. “I jokingly asked if he was going to arrest me”.

This proved to be a mistake, as the officer immediately called a patrol car, handcuffed Schneider and took him to a police station. One officer tied Meggy to a tree in the park and stayed to watch her.

Schneider was released after 15 minutes but said that he felt the police acted “totally disproportionately”.

“We are allowed to make an arrest for administrative penalties - and we were obliged to handcuff the gentleman as he refused to stay still,” a police spokesman said.

By law dogs are required to be kept on a leash in public areas in Vienna, and they must wear a muzzle on all forms of public transport.

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