WASHINGTON — A couple drove up to D.C. for a shopping trip Wednesday only to have their service dogs and car stolen.
Jennet Inglis and Mari Selby, of Staunton, Virginia, parked their car in the 2000 block of 12th Street, Northwest around noon. Moments later, Selby said her wife, Inglis, was assaulted.
“This young man ran up to her, attacked her, pushed her down to the ground,” she said.
Selby said the teen then took her keys out of her hand and hopped into their car with their two service dogs still inside.
Inglis' dog helps with her autism, according to Selby. While Selby's dog assists with her anxiety.
Just before Ingliss went to the hospital with a concussion and broken finger, Selby said she pleaded with the culprits to stop.
“Her head was bleeding, she was in a real mess, screaming, 'help, help'," Selby said. "And, you can’t take our dog.”
But the dogs would not be gone for long. In roughly two hours, police would find their car.
Cheverly resident Jhonny Merino's surveillance camera sent his phone an alert. "It showed some vehicle movement," he said. "So, I checked it out.
Merino noticed some teens running out of a car next to his home. Unbeknownst to him, they had just evaded DC Police.
“I kind of heard one of the girls say, 'Should we leave them? Should we leave them?” Merino said.
Merino and others in the neighborhood soon looked into the car and found Inglis and Selby's dogs. However, this story did not end there.
Merino said his wife noticed three teens hiding in some bushes up the street from their home. He walked to their location to look at them for himself and then told the police.
Authorities went on to arrest three teens in connection with the case.
“It saddens me because they're kids," Merino said. "They still have a long way to go in their life.”
Selby said she and Inglis will not allow this incident to stop them from coming back to DC. She added they were also thankful for the help of locals in DC and Cheverly and both communities' police departments.
On top of that, Selby said they are happy to have their dogs back.
“I grabbed them up and I held both of them in my arms and I didn’t want to let them go," she said.