Man hurt while trying to stop suspect from stealing his 165 pound dog, Akron police say

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AKRON, Ohio -- Chris Willard had just pulled into an Akron gas station with his dog in the car late Wednesday when he said a stranger approached the vehicle and tried to take the dog, telling him it wasn't his.

Willard said he attempted to stop the suspect but was pulled out of the car with his 165 pound Italian Mastiff/Cane Corso named Boogie.

"It was very brazen that they just made that assumption and leaped to just go and grab the dog because they could have been attacked and seriously injured," said Akron Police Captain, Dave Laughlin. He said a struggle continued between Willard and the suspect during which the dog was able to get away.

Courtesy of Chris Willard

"During the ongoing tussle, the dog was able to get away. Fortunately there was a citizen there who took it upon themselves to get the dog and secure it because the dog could have been scared in an unknown area and taken off and it could have compounded things even worse for our victim," said Laughlin.

In the meantime, a woman who was with the suspect hit Willard over the head with what was described as a pipe or a small bat, telling her accomplice that Boogie was not their dog.

The couple then took off running down Brown street.

Willard told FOX 8 he needed five stitches to close the gash on his head where he was hit.

Police said several witnesses saw what happened at the intersection of Brown Street and East Exchange and is hopeful someone will be able to help them identify the pair.

They said the woman could be charged with felonious assault, and other charges could be filed for the attempted theft of the dog.

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