SAN FRANCISCO -- A robber's heartless act led to the death of a woman's dog Friday evening after the suspect threw the animal into traffic, police said.

Roxy, a 12-year-old Pekingese, was euthanized by a veterinarian due to the multiple broken bones she suffered after being crushed by a car. Her owner, a San Francisco hospitality worker who asked not to be identified, was heartbroken Saturday.

"When I (first) saw her, I knew she was the one," the woman said. She had adopted Roxy two years ago and said the dog was "so happy with me ... she was so funny."

She had pulled over on Leavenworth Street, near Golden Gate Avenue, around 5 p.m. Friday to find her mobile phone, she said, when a man approached her car. As she opened the passenger door to look under the seat for her phone, she said, the man grabbed at her, saying "I'm gonna take your money."

Roxy, a 12-year-old Pekingese, was euthanized after a robbery Friday.
Roxy, a 12-year-old Pekingese, was euthanized after a robbery Friday.

He stole $5 from a pocket on her sweater, and she told him she didn't have any more money. As he pushed her toward the car, Roxy started barking, and the man said, "I'm gonna kill your (expletive) dog."

He headed toward the driver's side door, and the woman tried to stop him by blocking the door. The two struggled for a moment before the man managed to open the door and grab the dog by its collar, along with a coin purse in the car's center console.

"I screamed, 'No, put her down! Put her down!' and yelled for help, but no one helped," the woman said.

The man threw the dog to the ground, directly in front of moving traffic, where she was run over. The woman said she heard the dog scream as it was struck.


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As she ran to attend to her dog, she said, the man slipped into a crowd and disappeared. The dog was severely injured, with a ruptured eye socket and a broken pelvis.

Police responding to the scene told the woman they could take her statement later so that she could rush the animal to a veterinarian. Her injuries were so severe that euthanizing it was the only humane choice, she said.

"I tried to sleep last night, but right when I closed my eyes, I see her up in the air, getting thrown," the woman said. "How could someone do that?"

Police were combing through video footage from nearby surveillance cameras, hoping to identify the suspect. 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 keyword "SFPD."

The incident recalled a similar case in 2001, when a man involved in a traffic accident near San Jose International Airport grabbed a small, white bichon frise named Leo from the other car and killed the dog by tossing it into traffic. The road-rage story sparked nationwide outrage and generated a $120,000 reward fund. Andrew Douglas Burnett eventually was convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to three years in prison.

Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.