Virginia man dragged to his death after dog leash gets caught in doors of subway – dog was left on the train as owner attached to leash was pulled by departing train

  • The fatal incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon at the Dunn Loring Metro station about 13 miles outside of Washington, DC
  • The victim was identified by his daughter as 50-year-old Harold Riley, a father of two and grandfather of four who was with his service dog Daisy 
  • The area Metro Transit Police say the train operator performed two safety checks before moving the train forward  

A man died Monday at a Metro station in Virginia after being dragged down the platform by a departing train.

According to the Metro Transit Police Department, he stepped off the train at the Dunn Loring Station in Vienna, but a leash appeared to be tied to both the man and a dog was left on the departing train.

The man was dragged down the platform at about 1.30pm, and though lifesaving measures were initiated, he was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.

The man was identified by Fox5DC as 50-year-old Harold Riley.

Riley was reportedly a father to two girls and a grandfather of four.

He was with his dog Daisy, who the family say is a service dog and had her vest on at the time of the fatal incident.

The dog was previously in police care, but has since been picked up by the family of the victim and will soon be adopted into a new home. 

Harold Riley, 50, was the victim of the fatal Dunn Loring Metro station train incident on Wednesday. He was a father of two and grandfather of four

Metro operators are instructed to look out the window when they bring a train into a station and make sure they open the right side of the train doors.

They are also meant to confirm the doors close properly and safety prior to departure, ensuring that the train’s doors don’t bounce back when they hit something. 

The Metro Transit Police released a statement on Twitter following the incident.

‘Shortly before 1.30pm (on Wednesday), Metro received a report of a person struck by a train at Dunn Loring Station.

‘The adult male was transported to the hospital, but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

‘While the investigation is still ongoing, video appears to show the incident occurred approximately 450 feet away from the operator cab. The train operator performed two safe door checks before moving the train,’ it continued.

‘The deceased cleared the train and was on the platform away from car, but upon closer review, a leash appears to be tied to the person, which was unfortunately caught in the door, leaving a dog with no ID inside of the car.

The Dunn Loring Metro station in Vienna, Virginia, just 13 miles outside of Washington, DC

Harold Riley was dragged Wednesday by a leash that was attached to both him and his service dog, Daisy, to his death

‘This obstruction caused the individual to be dragged on the platform and onto the tracks.

‘The dog, which does not appear to be a service animal, is in police care,’ the statement concluded.

The family of the deceased say the man’s dog is, in fact, a service dog, though police say she had no indicators of being a service dog.

It is currently against the rules of the Virginia Metro system to transport non-service animal pets on Metrorail and Metrobus. However, pets may be transported if they are carried aboard in a secure container from which they cannot escape.  

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