Crowd left shocked after busker's dog is 'attacked' by man during altercation
Eyewitnesses have spoken of their horror after a man was filmed attacking a small dog.
The dog, known as Charlie, was reportedly targeted after the man became frustrated in his attempts to fight another man.
The kick connected with Charlie's head leaving him "very shaken but not seriously injured".
A "collective gasp" was audible from the passing families and small children as the dog was attacked.
In footage which emerged online, Charlie's owner, who is a well-known local busker, and other members of the public can be seen intervening and pushing the perpetrator to the ground before he runs off.
The attack took place in the Cornmarket area of Belfast on Thursday evening after the man allegedly pushed the busker and stole his money.
One eyewitness said: "One guy was trying to attack another very close to the busker and his dog.
"The busker was trying to intervene and stop the scuffle when the guy in the blue top dropped his phone which slid across the ground towards the busker's belongings and his dog.
"The busker then went to pick up the guy's phone to hand it to him.
"This got the attention of the guy in the blue top who then walked towards the busker and his dog."
The man reportedly returned to the area a short time later where he was arrested after he "fell over his own feet and hit a pole" as he tried to evade capture.
Police confirmed that a man was arrested in the area and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
Inspector Wendy Pollock said: "We received a report at around 5.20pm that a man was harassing a male busker.
"It's believed that he pushed the busker and took his money, and subsequently kicked the busker's dog. Police have arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion of a number of offences, including disorderly behaviour and cruelty to animals.
"He remains in custody, assisting with enquiries.
"Our enquiries are ongoing and I am appealing to anyone with information, or who was in the Cornmarket area around that time and witnessed the incident, to contact us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1492 of 06/06/19."
The attack on the dog was condemned by animal welfare group Northern Irelandsays 'No' to Animal Cruelty.
NISNTAC spokesperson Daniel Barclay said: "We expect that the authorities will give this matter their full attention with such an obvious line of enquiry.
"We claim to take animal cruelty seriously in this country and here we have a very clear case of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and we want a thorough investigation with appropriate charges brought as a result."