Veteran attacked, service dog stolen

Posted at 12:50 AM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 00:50:51-04

NEW YORK (WPIX/CNN) – An Army veteran in New York is devastated after he was beaten and his service dog was stolen.

Robert Lebron took his 8-month-old registered support dog, Mala, on a walk Sunday morning. When they returned to their apartment building, the pair was attacked.

Surveillance video shows two men involved in the attack. One pounces on Lebron, and he stumbles down the stairs. The other grabs Mala’s leash and runs off with her.

"I didn't want to fight. I didn't know if they had weapons or... anything. I just didn't want me and my dog getting hurt,” Lebron said.

Lebron was an Army Ranger, and after 9/11, he served his country with honor and pride in Afghanistan.

Mala signified a new chapter in his life: healing.

"What she gives me, I can't get from someone else – not a therapist, not a family member, not a friend. It's unconditional love,” Lebron said.

The veteran says getting Mala was “one of the most amazing things” that has happened to him, and he hopes that someone will be able to help him find her.

"If you could find it in your heart to see my dog and you see something, say something because I need her and she needs me,” Lebron said.

Lebron says he believes his attacker is an ex-boyfriend of his wife, who he says also attacked him less than a month ago.

Copyright 2017 WPIX, Robert Lebron, BB Chang, Melitza Pagan via CNN. All rights reserved.