Man tackled at local dog park while trying to steal a poodle

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Austinites jumped into action at a public dog park when they saw a man trying to steal a woman's dog.

Summer Serrano says she was at the Norwood Estate Dog Park on Thursday night, just west of Interstate 35 on East Riverside Drive, when she saw the man grab a small black poodle. Someone tackled the man and rescued the dog. The Good Samaritan held the man down on the ground until officers arrived.

"Me personally, my dog is never going to come here again," said Serrano.

Austin police say they put the suspect, Frederick Simpson, in handcuffs and frisked him on scene before issuing a class B citation for theft. The citation is a cite and release, so Simpson went on his way after that.

"He didn't have much to say he was just like, 'I'm sorry,' and I was like, 'You're not sorry. You don't steal somebody's dog," said Serrano.

Those who use the dog park on a regular basis are finding out the same thing may have happened to others. After posting about the Thursday dognapping on Facebook, Serrano connected with Paul Honescko.

He says his 1-year-old dog, Piper, was stolen on Saturday.

"I was just doing some reading, and before I knew it she was gone," said Honescko. "She had disappeared."

The dog is still missing, and he's put up posters at the park. Honescko filed a police report after learning about the attempted dognapping.

Austin police did not provide more details about Simpson, or if they think he may have stolen other dogs. Serrano says she and her sister saw him at the dog park earlier in the week and he looked suspicious.

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