Watch: Onlookers attack man abusing a dog in Hollywood

Onlookers attack man abusing a dog
(Image credit: YouTube/NBC News)

An understandably angry group of strangers united to chase down a man abusing a dog on Tuesday in Hollywood, California. Witnesses noticed a man reportedly kicking and dragging the poor pup near Sunset Boulevard and the 101 Freeway and banded together to save it.

After seeing the dog in danger, onlookers intervened – including Hunger Games and Donnie Darko star Jena Malone – pulling over and jumping out of their cars in order to chase down the man, culminating in a violent brawl and a video, released by NBC News, showing a group of men attacking the un-named assailant (check it out below). 

Actress Jena Malone tweeted about the incident, saying: "I’m sorry that it ended in a brawl but the dog was going to die. No question. I can’t imagine the level of torture it had suffered until this point. And now it’s safe in a hospital. Still no word on its owner."

The man, later identified as the son of the dog's owner, was arrested by the LAPD on suspicion of animal abuse. According to NBC, the man didn't realise he had hurt the small pooch, stating to NBCLA's cameraman just before his arrest: "That's why I did it, it's my mother's dog and he should obey me."

The dog – named Champion – was rescued by animal control and is suffering with a broken leg, presumably as a result of the abuse, but will recover and is back in the hands of its owner.

The dog saving vigilantes were not arrested, but LA criminal law attorney Andrew Leventhal said the video might raise some questions for those involved in assaulting the man, telling NBC:

"I mean it looks like the dog was already being taken care of at that point. So technically could the prosecution file charges against the men beating up the animal abuser? Yeah, technically they could."