‘Couldn’t imagine life without him.’ Stamford woman reunited with stolen service dog
A grateful Stamford woman was reunited with her service dog after her car was stolen with the dog inside.
“I'm a thankful dog mom, and I'm happy I got my baby back,” Tashara Wilson told News 12.
Wilson’s 5-year-old Chihuahua-miniature Pinscher mix, Bungee, is more than just a pet to her. He helps with her anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and is trained to alert someone if she falls, according to Wilson.
That made almost losing Bungee devastating.
Around 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Wilson made a stop at New Covenant Center on Richmond Hill Avenue to pick up food. She said she was just going to run in quick so she left Bungee in the car with the window cracked.
“I did leave it running, like I normally do, but I never leave it unlocked, and I did this one time,” Wilson explained.
That was all it took for her car to be taken.
“At that moment…at the moment of knowing he was gone until the moment of getting him back, time stopped for me,” Wilson said getting emotional.
Stamford police responded and took Wilson's report.
“Probably about two hours later, an officer on the East side was able to spot the car on East Main Street and followed it downtown where they conducted a motor vehicle stop,” said Capt. Chris Baker.
Police said Isiah Armstead, 20, was driving with Paris Wade, 18, as his passenger. Both are from Stamford. According to police, they took off running with Armstead holding Bungee in his arms as he fled.
“Our officer got real close to the suspect and got entangled into the leash that was dragging behind the suspect,” Baker told News 12. “The officer went down pretty hard on the sidewalk and hit his head, got up and recovered pretty quickly and continued to chase the male suspect.”
A traffic camera at the corner of Atlantic Street and Broad Street captured the chase and fall. It also showed Bungee fly out of the suspect’s arms when the officer got caught in the leash. Police said the dog ran down the street but was grabbed by a good Samaritan who turned him over to police. They arrested both suspects a short time later. Police also said during the chase, Armstead threw what appeared to be a gun to the ground, but it turned out to be a realistic-looking pellet pistol.
Armstead was charged with second-degree larceny, second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, operating a motor vehicle without a license, interfering with police, possession of a facsimile firearm and cruelty to animals. Wade was charged with second-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit second-degree larceny and interfering with police. Police said both had their bonds set at $25,000 and are due in court Dec. 8.
Wilson described her reunion with Bungee as “something out of a movie.” Now that he’s back home, Bungee will be going everywhere with Wilson. She's giving him lots of extra love and focusing on his care.
“He's not the same. He has some areas where if I touch, he yelps. He's just been very very lowkey, not doing anything,” Wilson told News 12 as she teared up. “But he's alive, and I couldn't even imagine my life without him."
Wilson said she’s thankful to police for all they did and has learned her lesson—she won’t leave her car running again, no matter how quick she’s going to be.
Baker echoed that, adding to lock your cars and take anything of value with you. He said the officer who fell during the chase was brought to the hospital to be checked out, treated and released. He’s off work for a few day but expected to fully recover.