Police arrested two people after they allegedly stole a car with a service dog inside, as per ABC7NY. The incident occurred last week in Stamford, Connecticut. Authorities said the 5-year-old dog, named Bungee, was unharmed and was later reunited with his owner, Tashara Wilson.
Officials said the car was reported stolen from Richmond Hill Avenue at around 4:50 p.m. Apparently, the vehicle was left running and had a Chihuahua-Mini-Pinscher mix, or a Chipin, inside. Wilson intended to briefly run into a soup kitchen before returning to her unlocked SUV.
An hour later, an officer spotted the car on East Main Street and started chasing it. Subsequently, the driver, Isiah Armstead, and the passenger, Paris Wade, fled the scene on foot.
Officials shared that Armstead was holding the dog in his arms while being chased down. During the pursuit, an officer became entangled with the dog’s leash and ended up hitting his head on the sidewalk. However, he managed to recover and continued to follow the suspects. As the officer fell, though, Armstead released his grasp on the canine, who plopped to the ground. Unscathed, the pup was then captured by a local resident who, in turn, surrendered the Chipin to the authorities. At the time, the suspect was busy evading arrest and discarding what looked like a gun.
Police ultimately arrested Armstead and charged him with second-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and operating a motor vehicle without a license. In addition, he was also charged with interfering with police, possession of a facsimile firearm, and cruelty to animals.
Wade was also arrested and charged with second-degree larceny, conspiracy, and interfering with police. Both the suspects are due in court on Dec. 8.
As far as the wounded officer, he was later taken to a hospital. While there, he was treated for minor injuries sustained in the pursuit of the suspects.
Police reunite woman with dog
Wilson was elated to be reunited with Bungee and overwhelmed by the efforts of the police who brought her dog home. She said, “I don’t even know how to thank them, I want to give them the world.” Continuing, Wilson added, “They don’t know how much they saved both of us.”
Stamford Police Dept. Capt. Chris Baker encouraged community members to remain vigilant and take preventative action so the same thing doesn’t happen to them. Cutting off the ignition and locking car doors can make all the difference. Capt. Baker also said, “It’s never a good situation when you are going around stealing cars that are occupied with other people’s dogs, running from the police with fake guns on you.”
Authorities further described the incident as “very dangerous” in a news release. They shared, “At the time of the investigation, there was a heavy vehicle and pedestrian presence downtown while officers were pursuing the suspects on foot.” The statement also highlighted the investigating officers’ swift action, commending them for their “restraint, professionalism, and apprehension.”