Chicago woman, 64, was beaten as she struggled with a gunman who stole her French bulldog
CHICAGO — A Chicago woman says she was beaten and had her French bulldog stolen at gunpoint while walking it in her northwest neighborhood.
Alicja Pierzchala, 64, told reporters the attack happened Wednesday night at Portage Park.
“I just walked with my Peppa,” she told NBC Chicago. “She was sniffling and all of a sudden behind me I felt pressure.”
“He yelled at me, give me your dog, then I tried to fight. He put a gun here, here and finally here,” Pierzchala added, pointing his head.
She said she was later treated in a hospital for cuts to her wrists, forehead and a concussion.
She adopted Peppa almost two months ago.
No arrests have been made, police said.
Pierzchala told NBC Chicago that police found surveillance video from a neighbor’s camera and officers also recovered the suspect’s cellphone.
French bulldogs have been targets of other thefts, including the shooting death of a 76-year-old South Carolina breeder in February and the shooting of a California dog walker for pop star Lady Gaga in 2021.
The man was then walking three of the singer’s French bulldogs. Two were captured and one escaped.
Authorities said it was a coincidence that the dogs belonged to Lady Gaga and that the motive for the theft was the value of French bulldogs, a breed that can cost thousands of dollars.
The man who shot the dog walker and stole the dogs was later arrested and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
In March, French Bulldogs overtook Labrador Retrievers as the most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club.
It is feared that the demand, plus the premium some buyers will pay for “exotic” coat colors and textures, is breeding fast breeders and unhealthy dogs.