Man Accused Of Punching Service Dog On Plane


A controversial video has emerged in the ongoing battle between a deaf couple, their service dog – and the man who they say punched their dog on a flight from Colorado to Florida.

Matt Silva and his pregnant fiancee Hazel Tamirez claim that Tim Manley not only punched their Great Dane service dog, Zariel, but also punched Tamirez in the stomach when he grew impatient with their dog taking up too much room on the flight.

Manley says he never punched Tamirez or the dog, but did push the dog out of the way because his wife is allergic to dogs.

The altercation continued when the families disembarked the plane.

Video shot by Manley’s wife show Silva confronting Manley, blocking him from exiting the plane and then shoving him to the ground in the airport terminal. Since then, both families are pointing the fingers at each other.

A field report from the Orlando Police Department states that Manley was the aggressor and initiated the fight. It states that:

“The larger service animal took up more space than Timothy [Manley] felt it deserved and [he] punched it with a closed fist, causing it to yelp. The dog Zariel shook her head and went under a seat. Mathew and Hazel became very upset and began yelling at Timothy as best they could. Timothy reacted by getting in Mathew’s face. At some point, Hazel was punched in the stomach by Timothy and the two children were touched by Timothy.”

However, Manley and his wife said that he never touched Tamirez and never punched the dog.

Manley told ABC News that he felt what he did to the dog was a “swat” and not a hit. He claimed, “I pushed [the dog] away” because of his wife’s allergies. “I wouldn’t call it a punch.”

“My husband never, ever punched that woman,” Petrini Manley told PEOPLE. “You can see who is the aggressor in the video.”

Petrini Manley also told PEOPLE that she was also knocked to the ground just prior to her husband being tackled and was “hurt” as a result. She also said that the local police never asked for their side of the story and only took the deaf couple’s side and filed a report.

Tamirez later told Fox4News that her husband was “incredibly shocked and surprised” by the incident. “We felt disappointed and disgusted how the man treated our service dog and assaulted me as a pregnant lady,” Tamirez told the news channel, via Facebook messenger.

Both couples are considering legal action against the other.

In a statement released by Frontier, the airline said that, “upon deplaning Flight 1752 from Colorado Springs to Orlando, there was a confrontation between passengers. Police were immediately notified to aid in deescalating the situation.”

The case has been turned over to the FBI, which is now investigating the matter.


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