Joshua Cavanaugh said he tried to run after the trio who took the dogs. He said one of them shot at him before they got into a waiting SUV around the corner.
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ATLANTA — The owners of a pair of two-year-old English Bulldogs, Scotch and Stogie, cut their London vacation short on Monday after getting a frantic call from their friend who has been dog-sitting for the couple.
“It was very hard to call them and ruin their vacation,” Joshua Cavanaugh explained.
Cavanaugh said he was taking Scotch and Stogie on a walk in Atlanta’s Castleberry neighborhood on Sunday evening after they had finished eating dinner. He said as they were walking down Walker Street – about to turn down on Larkin Street, he noticed three young men standing near the corner.
“I didn’t think much of it. One of them was on the phone or was pretending to be on the phone. The other two were talking among themselves. I didn’t think anything of it. I’ve walked them out here the last three nights. We had no issues,” Cavanaugh explained.
He said one of the young men did ask what kind of dogs he was walking, to which he answered he answered bulldogs.
Cavanaugh said he turned around and then seconds later, things quickly escalated.
“As soon as I heard them say ‘Hey man,’ and I turned back around, there were three guns in my face,” he explained.
Cavanaugh said he tried to hold on to their leashes, but as he resisted, that’s when he said one of the men lowered his gun and fired off a shot. Fortunately, the bullet missed his leg.
He said the shot startled him, forcing him to jump back. He said that’s when one of the men behind him was able to snatch the leashes away and all three took off with Scotch and Stogie.
“I ran after them as fast as I could,” he said.
Cavanaugh managed to pull his phone out and start recording as he ran after the three suspects. In the 38 second video, you can make out two of the three suspects, both in the street seen running away. One is wearing a white hoodie, dark pants with white tennis shoes. The second suspect had on a black hoodie with some type of white emblem on the back, red pants and white shoes. The third suspect was wearing all black.
About 13 minutes into the video, you hear one of the suspects yell something and then you hear a shot fired. As the video continues, you see the three jump into a waiting small Jeep SUV.
Cavanaugh said he was trying to get a plate on video. However, he said after being shot at for a second time, Cavanaugh hid behind a tree to take cover in case they tried to shoot at him again.
Atlanta Police said once they showed up and while officers were still on scene investigating the robbery, they received a call of a crash a short distance away that appeared to involve the vehicle that was seen leaving the scene of the robbery.
Officers responded and said the driver of the vehicle remained on scene and told them that three masked men got into his vehicle and forced him to drive at gunpoint. The driver told police he complied but at some point, he crashed with another vehicle and the three men took off from the scene on foot.
On Monday, Atlanta Police said officers learned that the driver of the vehicle, did have an outstanding arrest warrant for an unrelated incident. He was booked Sunday night but his name and charges have not been released.
Cavanaugh said he’s not buying the man’s story and believes he was involved in the robbery. He hopes he will be able to give investigators some information that will lead them to Scotch and Stogie.
“We just want them back. If we can get the dogs back, that’s the main priority,” he said.
The dog’s owners cut their London vacation short and were on a flight back to Atlanta as of Monday evening.
Both bulldogs are microchipped and neutered. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS(8477) or e-mail the anonymous information using the online form at www.crimestoppersatlanta.org.