Metro doors close, separate man from service dog

When you have 14,000 plus followers on twitter, and you're the chief Washington correspondent for Yahoo news, tweets like this one tend to get attention.

#WMATA you suck for closing the doors so ruthlessly that you separated a disabled man FROM HIS SERVICE DOG. WTF?!? Cc: @unsuckdcmetro

— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) May 23, 2013

Knox tweeted that on a Red Line Shady Grove Bound Metro train Thursday night, the doors closed, separating a man from a service dog.

The doors slammed shut on the man and never reopened, Knox says. Several people tried to pry the door all the way open and the man finally let go of the leash and tumbled back in the Metro car.

Knox later acknowledged his initial read of the situation might have been wrong. The service dog could've been there for the child, not the dad.

The man’s wife and child got out and secured the dog. The man got off at the next stop.

Knox says there was no warning, no waiting and no evidence the driver looked back.

“They would've seen dog, bright leash and part of dad caught in the doors,” Knox says.

Computer logs for that train show doors were open for 15 seconds. The operator looked out the side window before initiating the close door command and “with the operator in the front of the train, seeing a leash in the door four or more cars back might be challenging ... this seems to be an unfortunate occurrence."

But Knox can't help but dwell on the “what ifs.”

“What if leash got stuck? What if it was a blind person? What if mom hadn't been on platform?” Knox asks.