Man tries to violently steal woman's French bulldog in Financial District

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Friday, July 15, 2022
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Police in Manhattan are searching for the man who violently tried to steal a woman's French bulldog from her. Lauren Glassberg has the story.

FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police in Manhattan are searching for the man who violently tried to steal a woman's French bulldog from her, and the incident was caught on surveillance video.

It happened around 2:45 p.m. on June 21 at a building on Broadway in the Financial District.

Police say the man followed the victim, a 29-year-old woman from Brooklyn, into the same partition of a revolving door at an office building.

He first bent down to pet the dog, but then suddenly attempted to snatch it from the woman.

The victim fought back, but during the struggle to hold onto her dog, her head was slammed against the glass door.

The man fled the building.

The dog was not injured, but the woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment of a concussion and bruising to her head.

"I'm so thankful that my dog and I made it through the attack," she said in a statement to Eyewitness News. "We are safe now and in the process of healing. I would have been devastated to lose her. She is part of our family. I'm quite proud of how I handled the situation. I stood up for myself and kept my dog safe. I don't think they were expecting that. I've taken a few self defense courses throughout my life, and I used every bit of that knowledge to protect myself and my pup. I would strongly encourage everyone to sign up for a self defense course.

Police say French bulldogs are a popular breed and are one of the most expensive, which is why owners are targeted.

"The outpouring of love and support from my community has been overwhelming," the victim said. "I'm so thankful for all my family, friends and coworkers, along with the wonderful security, medical, and detective teams who have helped me. I also want to mention all the strangers who ran to help when they realized something was wrong. One unkind act was immediately met with hundreds of kind ones."

Dog owners have a strong message to people who are trying to commit an attempted robbery like this.

"Go steal something else, not someone's love of their life," Tyler Muray said. "These are like our children."

Muray said seeing the video of the attempted dog robbery was shocking, but not surprising.

"They go anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000," he said. "I just thought it was crazy that it happened so close to where we live."

The story is resonating with dog owners.

"I'm close to her age, I'm 26, and I have a dog too, so I can relate to that story, and I would be devastated," Valerie Moscoco said. " I'm sorry that happened to her. Too many dog lovers out here in New York City, so he won't get too far."

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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