SAN FRANCISCO -- Police have released surveillance video of a man who investigators say robbed a woman and killed her small dog by throwing the animal into a city street.
A $3,000 reward is also being offered for information leading to the arrest of the man.
Police said a woman pulled her car over at Leavenworth and McAllister streets about 5 p.m. Friday to look for her cellphone, which had fallen on the car floor.
The woman got out of the car and walked to the passenger side, and through the open passenger side door, was hunched over looking for her phone when a man walking by grabbed her shirt and pulled $5 from a pocket of her sweater.
In a phone interview Wednesday, the woman, who asked to remain unnamed because she feared for her safety, spoke softly, her voice catching as she recounted the incident.
She said she initially saw the man look at her and wave to her as she pulled over, but she ignored him. When he grabbed her, she turned to find herself nose-to-nose with the suspect, who was demanding more money. But she had none.
That was when Roxie, her 18-pound Pekingese, began to bark.
"She knew something was wrong," the woman said.
"I'm going to kill your (expletive) dog," the man said as he walked around to the other side of the car.
With the $5 in hand, the suspect reached into the car, grabbed the woman's barking dog, and threw the animal into the street.
Witness Alex Paul said he was
"He raised (the dog) as high as he could over his head, probably more than 6 feet, and then body slammed the dog into pavement," said Paul, a 43-year-old Oakland resident. "It was horrific."
Paul was driving through the Tenderloin on his way to a business dinner and stopped to help the woman when he saw the initial struggle.
"I saw him pushing her and hitting her ... I heard her screaming as loud as she could," Paul said.
Paul said a car stopped short of hitting Roxie, but the animal was already badly injured. Roxie was taken to an emergency vet hospital, where she was euthanized because of a broken pelvis and ruptured eye socket. The woman was not severely injured and is working with police to find the suspect.
The woman, who has seen the surveillance video, said it was hard to make out the face of the man who killed her dog, just as it was difficult to catch a glimpse of him as he attacked her last week.
The woman said she has been dealing with post traumatic stress, and that she often finds herself crying, despite the support she has received.
She said she has been contacted by at least three animal shelters who have offered to give her a puppy when she is ready, though for now the woman only thinks of Roxie.
Paul said he was shocked that about a dozen people who also witnessed the incident did not stop to help the woman or give statements to police.
"I rescue dogs and I foster dogs and I love dogs, and to see this ... I can't get the scene out of my head," he said. "I've never seen anything so brutal before."
Donations can be made to the "Roxie the Dog Reward Fund," account No. 0100219702 at the Gateway Bank branch at 919 Clement St. in San Francisco or the branch at 18th and Webster streets in Oakland. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call San Francisco police at 415-929-9446. Anonymous tips can be texted to 847411 with the word "SFPD."