A valuable dog was stolen in Cork on Sunday after its owner was threatened by a masked man armed with a hammer who pulled up in car and demanded he hand over his dog.
Denis McCarthy said he was walking his French Pit Bull, Rocco, on Ballincollie Road in Cork’s north side when a man “jumped out of the car with a face mask on, a hood up and a hammer. He said: ‘give me that dog’.”
“He tried to hit me a couple of times with the hammer. I was ducking trying to avoid it. He didn’t use it as a threat. He didn’t use it to scare me. He was going to hit me. He just grabbed the dog, got in to the car and sped away.”
Mr McCarthy told the Neil Prendeville show, on Cork’s Red FM, there were two other men in the front of the Ford Focus and the masked man got into the back seat.
He said he believed that he was targeted because Rocco, whom he has had for over a year, is an expensive breed of dog. “Other people walked past me in the area with their dogs. He didn’t stop and try and do it to them. He stopped me.”
Mr McCarthy was given permission by gardaí to share his story on social media after they arrived back with Rocco at around 11.30pm on Sunday night. He said he didn’t expect it to “blow up” with the story being shared online over 24,000 times.
“It is not just theft. I want the person to be charged with what they did to me with the hammer. The gardaí will be down today for a statement,” said Mr McCarthy, adding that he was hugely relieved to get Rocco back safe and well.
Gardaí said in statement to The Irish Times: “The incident was reported to gardaí and, as part of the investigation, the dog has since been recovered and returned to the owner. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.”