“Central Park Karen” Amy Cooper claimed she exhausted “all options” before she called 911 on a black birdwatcher last year — as she relived in detail Tuesday the viral fiasco that’s left her “terrified” to walk her dog in public.
Cooper still believes that she had no choice but to call the cops on birder Christian Cooper, whom she claimed threatened her and her dog when she didn’t comply with his request to put the animal on a leash in Central Park.
“I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option,” Amy said on the podcast “Honestly with Bari Weiss” that came out Tuesday.
She claimed that she was about to put the leash on when Christian apparently told her that if she didn’t comply, he’d do something that she was “not going to like.”
“I’m trying to figure out, you know, what does that mean? Is that a physical attack on me? Is that to my dog? Like, what is he about to do?” she said.
She said Christian, who was holding a bike helmet in one of his hands, pulled out dog treats and called the pooch over to him.
“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, is this guy like going to like lure my dog over and try to like hit him with this bike helmet?’” she recalled.
At some point, she realized that Christian had begun filming her.
“It’s really weird because he’s still standing there, you know, same very physical posture, and suddenly out of him comes this voice from man who’s been very dominant towards me,” she said.
“Suddenly, you know, almost this victimized voicing [sic], [saying,] ‘Don’t come near me. Don’t come any closer,” she said. “Like, almost like he’s terrified of me … To me that’s even more terrifying now because you’ve gone from screaming at me — if you kept screaming at me, at least it was consistent, but now his whole verbal demeanor has changed.”
The dog owner said she asked Christian to stop recording her and when he didn’t listen, she decided to call 911.
“I’d explored all my options. I tried to leave. I tried to look for anyone who’s around,” she recalled. “There was no noise, no sound. And it was, you know, it was my last attempt to sort of hope that he would step down and leave me alone.”
In a now-viral video, Amy could be heard telling the birdwatcher that she is going to call the cops and “tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.”
She was then seen taking out her cellphone and telling 911 dispatchers that the man was “recording me and threatening myself and my dog.”
Amy was later charged with falsely reporting an incident, but the case was tossed after she completed five therapy sessions.
She said that the encounter and the ensuing backlash forced her to flee her home and has left her traumatized about taking her dog outside.
“I’m terrified to take my dog for a walk, because what if someone sees me go into a home and realizes it’s where I live,” Amy said. “So, sometimes I’ll drive him over to a remote field or something just to play with him.
“But it’s still hard. There’s a beautiful hiking trail that I’d love to take him on. I can’t take him there because I’m terrified to go into the woods with him anymore.”
Christian could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.
Amy said she still hasn’t spoken to him since the altercation went viral and led to her getting fired from her job.
Asked what she would want to say to him, Amy said that she’s thought about it “a lot.”
“I have zillion questions of course in my head or things I’d like to say, but the one that really, I really would just like to start and open this conversation with is, ‘You scared me,’” she said. “And really just leave it there and leave it to him to respond back to me as to what he wants to say back to that because I think that opens the door to a conversation.”