"Dear New Downtowners,
Please keep an eye on your dog when walking him/her in the downtown area. Apparently, there are a couple guys who are making accusations towards dog owners saying they "stole" their dog and are demanding that the dog be returned to them. They say their dog jumped out of the window of their car and then say you are taking the dog. They even go so far as to call the police. Please be very careful when leaving your dog - even for a minute - while you pop into a store or run in for a
Nancy-Jean Carlson, Owner
Downtown's Exclusive Pet Food Home Delivery Service
Then, from Joe (you know Joe, he's always walking his beautiful dog Ruby around 4th and Main) comes this horrifying story:
"Thank you for posting the warning, Nancy-Jean.
Unfortunately, I was a victim of the two Hispanic guys yesterday (4-25). I was returning home from a dog walk around 4:30 pm with my bull terrier Ruby when they confronted me on the street at 6th and Main and tried to take Ruby away from me.
A police car stopped and the men told the police I took Ruby from their car. The police believed the men! One cop asked me how old Ruby is. I told him 9 years old. He told me that Ruby is two years old. "That is not your dog," one cop told me. "You have to return their dog."
I was pushed against the parking lot fence and handcuffed. Then I was placed in a police car while Ruby remained with the two men.
The officers were abusive. They asked me if I was under the influence of medication and if I wanted a white dog just like one I had when I was little.
I finally convinced them (after much begging) to take me to the San Fernando Building to establish the fact that Ruby is mine. Another cop car arrived and stayed with the men and my dog. One cop said "coo coo" the whole two block trip home. They also referred to the cardboard box they thought I lived in.
Things changed when I reached home. The building security guard, neighbors, the management crew, business owners (including Nancy-Jean) and Tom Gilmore and Trish Keefer all vouched for me and Ruby. The other cops brought the two men and Ruby to the building and everyone identified her. A third cop car later arrived. The handcuffs were finally removed and Ruby was returned to me.
Despite all of that, though, I still had to take the two cops to my unit to show them proof that I live with a dog. Then later they returned to take pictures of Ruby and me together.
I have filed a complaint against the two cops and I am going to meet with them and the head of Central Division on Monday afternoon. I was abused by those two cops and I will do my best to make them accountable for their bad behavior.
...and the two men? They were turned loose and could still possibly be around the area. Other dog walkers should wisely take Nancy-Jean's warning to heart."
As a former dog owner (Flagg passed away in 2004 after 13+ wonderful years) and fan of Ruby (we ran into them often when Jim lived at the San Fernando), I was sick when I read of Joe's encounter with the police and wish him the best of luck on Monday when he meets with the head of Central Division. I shudder to think that the two men were left free to prey on other dog-owners. Be careful out there!