Unidentified assailants assaulted a San Francisco woman at gunpoint while she was walking with her two dogs in Russian Hill on Tuesday, where the four suspect’s allegedly took away the victim’s 5-month-old French Bulldog named Chloe.
The victim, Sarah Vorhaus, recalled the incident while tearing up, saying she would have given the attackers almost anything they wanted except for her beloved pet. She was glad that the suspects did not steal her other dog at the time. Vorhaus told her story in the hopes of finding Chloe and raising awareness among the public.
The victim was walking her two dogs, an eight-year-old Shiba Inu and 5-month-old Chloe, along Hyde Street, only a few blocks from her house. An unknown man took the opportunity of Vorhaus leaning down to clean up after her dog and approached Vorhaus from behind, demanding that she give him her dog.
The assailant grabbed Chloe’s leash, drag her to his car, and drove off, all within a minute after the start of the encounter. Vorhaus explained how she screamed with fear and said her nose was left bloodied after the suspect punched her in the face.
At the time of the crime, Vorhaus said there were many civilians in Hyde Street, which was famous for its beautiful scenery and its cable car line. After the encounter, the victim immediately called 911 to report the attack. “So many people rushed to the street. There was a woman on the street who was so lovely. She was a trained EMT,” Vorhaus said.
Two residents, Shelley Peery and Amanda Hardy, heard Vorhaus scream when the attacker assaulted her and stole her dog. Some witnesses said they saw the last moments of the encounter and how the suspect drove away in his vehicle.
Peery recalled the frightening experience and noted that neighbors quickly came out bringing frozen peas to assist Vorhaus. She said that despite the horrifying ordeal, their first priority was helping Sarah and making sure she was okay.
“I was looking right at their license plate. I wish I could remember the damn number,” Hardy said. The two women reported what they remembered about the attack to police, who responded to the 911 calls.
Medics later took Vorhaus to the hospital for treatment, and she is currently recovering from her injuries.
Locating the Suspects
Police have begun an investigation to locate the suspect and believe that four people were involved in the crime. Two others were waiting outside the car while Vorhaus was attacked, and the fourth one was driving the vehicle. The San Francisco Police Department described the car as a sedan but did not provide any additional information about the suspects or the vehicle.
Vorhaus said she did not see the other suspects but noted some witnesses said they were wearing hoodies, two dark ones and one white one. They also noted that the suspects were all wearing black face masks, the San Francisco Gate reported.
The victim has launched a campaign in an attempt to rescue her dog and shared images of Chloe that showed a gray dog with blue-gray eyes, hoping that anyone who sees her could notify her of her dog’s whereabouts. “She is so unique looking. She has such a unique look. She responds to Chloe. I think there’s a way to mobilize the community,” Vorhaus said.
Vorhaus has been a resident of San Francisco for six years but noted that the incident has forced her to relocate. ”I don’t know how I can stay. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t out late. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I don’t know how I can stay safe here,” she said.