“JUSTICE FOR KOKITO”

March 24, 2018 at 5:15 am

After a French bulldog puppy died after being stuffed in an overhead compartment on a United Airlines flight to LaGuardia Airport, the nation was outraged. Now animal lovers and legislators are demanding justice for Kokito. Evan Oshan, the attorney representing Kokito’s family, is here to talk about seeking justice for Kokito.

Aired on March 23, 2018. 

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>>> ACCORDING TO THE UNITED
STATES DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION, IN 2017, 24
ANIMALS DIED WHILE BEING
TRANSPORTED BY AIR, OF THOSE 189
-- 18 OCCURRED ON UNITED
ARMIES.
AFTER THE DEATH OF THE FRENCH
BULLDOG COCHITO WHO WAS FORCED
INTO AN OVERHEAD BIN JUST BEFORE
A FLIGHT, UNITED AS TAKEN
RESPONSIBILITY AND AS ANNOUNCED
MEASURES TO KEEP SUCH DEATHS
FROM HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE.
BUT WHATEVER UNITED DECIDES TO
DO OR NOT DO REGARDING IT'S
TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, PET LOVERS
EVERYWHERE ARE ASKING, HOW COULD
THIS EVER HAVE HAPPENED AND HOW
CAN WE MAKE SURE THAT THIS NEVER
HAPPENS AGAIN TO ANY ANIMAL ON
ANY AIRLINE.
AND JOINING US NOW IS THE
ATTORNEY OF THE FAMILY WHO OWNED
COCHITO.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> LET'S GET TO THE PARTICULARS
OF THE CASE.
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR CLIENTS,
WHEN THEY GOT ON BOARD THE
UNITED FLIGHT FROM HOUSTON TO
NEW YORK WITH COCHITO?
>> CATALINA, SOPHIA, A SMALL
INFANT AND COCHITO IN A TSA
APPROVED BAG BOARDED A FLIGHT
FROM HOUSTON TO NEW YORK AND
WERE SEATED.
AFTER THEY WERE SEATED, THE
FLIGHT ATTENDANT CAME BY AND
ORDERED CATALINA TO REMOVE THE
BAG FROM THE SPACE IN FRONT OF
HER AND PUT IT IN THE OVERHEAD
BIN.
>> NOW, SEE, THAT'S A POINT OF
DISPUTE, BECAUSE THE ATTENDANT
SAYS THAT THE BAG THAT COCHITO
WAS IN, WAS IMPEDING THE AISLE.
BUT ACCORDING TO UNITED AIRLINES
GUIDELINES, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO
PUT IT UNDERNEATH THE SEAT IN
FRONT OF YOU.
ARE YOU SAYING THAT'S WHAT CAT
L
CATALINA DID?
>> THE BAG THAT COCHITO WAS IN,
WAS NOT IMPEDING THE AISLE.
AND THE DOG WAS BARKING AND
MOVING AROUND AND IT WAS VERY
OBVIOUS THAT THERE WAS A DOG IN
THE BAG.
>> WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A
SECOND.
BUT ACCORDING TO THE PASSENGERS
THAT WITNESSED THE INCIDENT,
CATALINA ARGUED WITH THE FLIGHT
ATTENDANT.
BUT SHE AND HER FAMILY WERE
THREATENED BY THE ATTENDANT?
>> YOU KNOW THAT THERE'S A VERY
SEVERE PENALTY FOR NOT FOLLOWING
THE INSTRUCTIONS OF FLIGHT
ATTENDANTS AND THERE COULD BE A
$250 FINE AND 20 YEARS IN JAIL.
SHE WAS JUST FOLLOWING THE
INSTRUCTIONS OF THE FLIGHT
ATTENDANT, IN FACT SHE WAS
BULLIED.
>> SHE WAS TOLD SHE WOULD BE
PULLED OFF OF THE FLIGHT IF THEY
DIDN'T DO THIS?
>> I CAN'T TELL YOU THAT, BUT I
CAN TELL YOU SHE WAS BULLIED AND
SHE WAS ORDERED TO MOVE.
>> UNITED AIRLINES HAS TAKEN
FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT
HAPPENED AND THEY HAVE AGREED TO
REFUND THE TICKETS FOR CATALINA,
SOPHIA AND THE FEE FOR COCHITO,
AND THEY HAVE TAKEN OTHER
MEASURES FOR STOPPING DOGS IN
THE CARGO AREA, AND THEY'RE NOW
INSTRUCTING ALL BAGS BE CLEARLY
MARKED TO HAVE DOGS IN IT.
IS THAT SUFFICIENT TO MAKE YOUR
FAMILY WHOLE?
>> I THINK THAT'S GREAT THAT
UNITED IS TAKING ALL THESE
MEASURES AFTER THE EXACT.
HOWEVER THEY HAVE NOT REVEALED
THE NAME OF THE FLIGHT
ATTENDANT.
AND I DON'T KNOW WHY.
>> SO YOU DON'T KNOW IT EITHER?
>> WE DON'T KNOW IT, NOBODY
KNOWS IT.
AND SHE HAS NOT EVEN APOLOGIZED.
I APPRECIATE UNITED COMING OUT
AND APOLOGIZING AND ACCEPTING
RESPONSIBILITY, WHICH THEY
SHOULD DO.
BUT THERE'S NO ACCOUNTABILITY
HERE AND WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY.
>> YOU SAID SHE SHOULD BE
CRIMINALLY CHARGED.
CHARGED FOR WHAT?
>> FOR SURE THERE'S A CRIMINAL
INVESTIGATION GOING ON.
THERE WAS A VERY EXTENSIVE
INTERVIEW THAT WAS CONDUCTED
YESTERDAY WITH THE DISTRICT
ATTORNEY, THEY'RE LOOKING AT
ANIMAL CRUELTY AND OTHER
CRIMINAL ISSUES.
I CAN'T GO INTO ANY MORE DETAIL
ABOUT THAT, I DON'T WANT TO
IMPEDE IN THEIR INVESTIGATION.
>> WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR YOUR
CLIENTS?
>> WELL, FIRST, AND FOREMOST,
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR IS
ACCOUNTABILITY.
THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT NEEDS TO
COME FORWARD, WE NEED TO KNOW
WHO SHE IS.
WE NEED TO HAVE THAT TAKEN CARE
OF.
THEN THERE NEEDS TO BE JUSTICE
FOR COCHITO.
AND I THINK SENATOR KENNEDY AND
SENATOR ALCATERA HERE IN NEW
YORK ARE WORKING ON SOME GREAT
LEGISLATION, AND I APPLAUD THAT.
THEY HAVE BROUGHT UP COCHITO'S
LAWS.
AND I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO CALL ON
PRESIDENT TRUMP IN HIS HOMELAND
TO COME OUT AND HELP OUT WITH
THIS LEGISLATION.
THAT'S REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT
NOW.
>> SO TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
HOW THE FAMILY IS DOING.
SOPHIA IS AN 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL
AND SHE WITNESSED ALL THIS.
AND THE MOTHER WAS DISTRAUGHT,
SHE WAS THE ONE WHO TRIED TO
REVIVE THE LITTLE DOG.
>> IT SOPHIA IS COMPLETELY
DEVASTATED, SHE'S HAVING A
HORRIBLE TIME.
SHE'S ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATED AND
SHE KEEPS RELIVING THIS OVER AND
OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
AND THE MOM THE SAME AND THE
DAD.
EVERYBODY ON THAT FLIGHT WAS
TRAUMATIZED, THIS WAS AN
ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE THING THAT
HAPPENED.
>> THIS WAS VERY UNBELIEVABLE
TRAGEDY THAT HAPPENED TO THIS
FAMILY.
AND WE'LL LIKE TO SEE HOW IT
PROGRESSES.
>> WELL, THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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