Disabled veteran up in arms after scooter rider injures his service dog

Posted at 4:31 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 20:07:45-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A disabled veteran's service dog was injured by a scooter rider who was illegally driving on the sidewalk in downtown Nashville.

The army veteran described his service dog, Nunu, as 'God sent.'

Nunu was trained as a seizure alert dog for Michael Phillips. She's important to him, and he wants to make sure the scooter rider is held accountable.

"She's given me a reason to live, when before I really didn't, cause I'm 100% disabled now with PTSD," said Phillips.

The incident happened as they were walking along the sidewalk next to 1st Avenue North Sunday afternoon.

"We got clipped down at the riverfront by a gentleman on a scooter that was drunk, and I was more worried about my dog, and of course the gentleman didn't get up and say, 'I'm sorry, how's your dog?' he got back up, got on the scooter, and took off," he said.

Phillips fell to the ground, but was not seriously hurt. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Nunu. Phillips jumped on a bus, and immediately rushed Nunu to the animal hospital where he learned she will need hip replacement surgery.

"This is my life right here. This is a lifeline for me, and everything comes after her. I come after her, anybody else will come after her," he said.

The surgery will cost thousands of dollars - money that Michael doesn't have. He's reaching out to veteran groups for help.

In the meantime, he's turned his anger toward city officials. He wants scooters banned from Nashville.

"They're throwing the safety of the citizens under the bus for the almighty dollar, and that's just not right," said Phillips.

He even marched up to the mayor's office on Wednesday to have a chat about it. He's also called police to report the hit and run, but he fears not much can be done.

"The city's not ready for the scooters because we don't have enough police officers to put down on Broadway to regulate this, to keep them off the sidewalks, keep them on the streets," he said.

In a business district, scooter riders are supposed to be in the street.

As Phillips nurses Nunu back to health, he's begging the Mayor and Metro Council to take action.

Phillips said, "This city was great before these scooters, and it can be great again once you get rid of them."