CHICAGO - A passenger on a Delta Airlines flight was bit on the face by a veteran's emotional support dog while on a plane in Atlanta.
"There was a call for help, you could hear dog growling and a bark. And someone screaming, 'I need help there is a medical emergency,'" said passenger Bridget Maddox-Peoples.
The incident occurred Sunday on a flight preparing to take off from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, according to WAGA-TV.
The Labrador mix, weighing about 50 pounds, was in the middle seat with its owner and the victim was in the window seat, according to a witness.
The gentleman in front of the victim and the dog owner indicated that he had cause for alarm.
"The dog had been growling at the gentleman and the gentleman said, 'is this dog going to bite me?' three times and there was no effort to remove the dog off the plane," Maddox-Peoples said.
It was unclear what led up to the attack. The victim was taken to the hospital.
Maddox-Peoples said Delta's flight crew immediately got help and paramedics walked the man off the plane. She said the man was noticeably shaken up.
"The area was completely covered in blood. They came in and sanitized the area and replace the airplane seats," she said.
Delta issued the following statement: "Prior to pushback of flight 1430, ATL-SAN, a passenger sustained a bite from another passenger's emotional support dog. The customer who was bitten was removed from the flight to receive medical attention. Local law enforcement cleared the dog, and the dog and its owner were re-accommodated on a later flight; the dog will fly in a kennel."
Another passenger said that the dog's owner was described by the flight crew as a "combat veteran" and that the man was cradling the dog in his arms in the gate area and that the crew saw him weeping, repeatedly saying, "I know they're going to put him down."