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A US Army veteran is desperate to find his dog after two men blindsided the vet, beating him before stealing the PTSD service dog.
The surveillance video footage above shows 40-year-old Robert Lebron returning to his Bronx home with his pit bull, Mala, where he was ambushed around 9:20 a.m. on Mother’s Day.
One of the men, later identified by police as Lebron’s wife’s ex-boyfriend, Brian Cohen, punched Lebron several times in the head, causing him to stumble away from the stoop where his frightened dog was left cowering.
A second man then walked up, grabbed Mala’s leash, and walked off with her.
Police released a photo of Cohen and descriptions of both attackers on Sunday in hopes that someone will step forward with information about their whereabouts.
Individual #1: Identified as Brian Cohen, white male, 5’5″ tall and 180lbs, last seen wearing grey hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, dark shoes.
Individual #2: Unidentified, black male, 5’5″ tall and 180lbs, last seen wearing grey hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, dark shoes.
Lebron served as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on September 11. His service dog, Mala brought joy back into his life as he struggled with PTSD.
“What she gives me I can’t get from someone else: not a therapist or a family member or my friend,” he told PIX11 about his service dog. “It’s unconditional love.”
He also urged the public, “[If] you see something, say something – because I need her and she needs me.”
Anyone with information about the suspects or Mala’s whereabouts is urged to submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).