Suspect Held in Theft of Dog That Owner Tried to Save

Los Angeles police are still looking for Ali Zacharias' French bulldog
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2024 10:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 4, 2024 12:55 PM CST
UPDATE Feb 4, 2024 12:55 PM CST

Los Angeles police have made an arrest in the theft of a French bulldog its owner tried to rescue by clinging to the hood of the getaway car. Sadie Slater, 21, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of robbery and jailed Saturday in lieu of $70,000 bail, per the Los Angeles Times. Police have not yet found Onyx but said they're conducting interviews. Ali Zacharias has offered a reward for her pet's safe return.

Jan 29, 2024 10:00 AM CST

Some dog owners would do almost anything for their beloved pooches—a fact proven by Ali Zacharias, who took a ride on the front of a speeding car to try to save her abducted French bulldog. KTLA reports that the 44-year-old was eating lunch in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 18, outside a local Whole Foods, with her dog Onyx by her side. She says a woman approached her table and started calling to Onyx, before snatching the dog's leash and making off with him. "I didn't think that somebody was stealing my dog," Zacharias tells the outlet. "I thought it was a misunderstanding, so I said, 'That's my dog. Excuse me.'"

Zacharias says the woman paid her no heed and jumped into a nearby car, with Zacharias on her heels. Zacharias notes she tried to get into the car herself, but that there were four people inside who shoved her out and locked the doors behind her. That's when Zacharias says she defiantly stepped in front of the car, hoping to stop it from taking off—but instead, the vehicle simply started driving, throwing Zacharias onto the hood. A bystander captured video of the car zipping down the street, Zacharias clinging to the front. "I held onto the windshield wipers," she tells the Los Angeles Times, estimating that at one point, the car was going about 40mph.

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A quick turn a few blocks later finally sent Zacharias flying off the car. She tells the Times she sustained some bruises and scratches but no serious injuries. Now, her only concern is getting her dog back. "They stole my child away from me," Zacharias tells KTLA of Onyx, described by the outlet as a black merle French bulldog with a spotted coat and eyes that are different colors (the left eye is blue, the right eye green). "I'm just praying that I can get him back." The getaway vehicle is said to be a white Kia Forte sedan that's missing a hubcap on the driver's front side. Anyone with any information on Onyx's abduction can call police at 877-275-5273. (More French bulldog stories.)

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