Austin dog owners pounced into action at a public dog park when they saw a man trying to steal a woman’s dog.
Summer Serrano told KXAN she was at the Norwood Estate Dog Park on Thursday night, when she saw the man grab a small black poodle. Another dog owner tackled the perpetrator and held him dog until police arrived.
Austin police said they put the suspect, Frederick Simpson, in handcuffs and frisked him on scene before issuing a class B citation for theft. The citation is a cite and release, so Simpson was free to go.
“He didn’t have much to say he was just like, ‘I’m sorry,’” said Serrano. “I was like, ‘You’re not sorry. You don’t steal somebody’s dog!”
Regulars at the park worry that this may not be the first time. After Serrano posted about the incident on Facebook, she heard from Paul Honescko, whose 1-year-old pit bull, Piper, vanished from the same park last week.
“I was just doing some reading, and before I knew it she was gone,” said Honescko. “She had disappeared.”
The dog is still missing, and he’s put up posters at the park. Honescko filed a police report after learning about the attempted dognapping.
Austin police did not provide more details about Simpson, or if they think he may have stolen other dogs. Serrano says she and her sister saw him at the dog park earlier in the week and he looked suspicious.