With her arm in a sling, Alicja Pierzchala described what happened to her just 24 hours ago as terrifying and heartbreaking.
“I was laying on the sidewalk and they said, you should be thankful that nothing happened to you, they didn’t shoot you," she said.
The 64-year-old suffered a concussion and cuts and bruises after being held at gunpoint in her Portage Park neighborhood. Her beloved French bulldog, Peppa, was taken from her in a matter of seconds.
“He yelled at me, give me your dog, and then I tried to fight,” she said. “He put a gun here, here, and finally here (pointing to her head).”
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Pierzchala said she was walking Peppa on Wednesday evening near Menard Avenue and Giddings Street when she was confronted at around 7:45 p.m.
“Only from the distance I saw someone walking by and then I just walked with my Peppa,” said Pierzchala. "She was sniffing and all of a sudden behind of me I felt pressured something, give me the dog and instantly he grabbed the dog.”
Pierzchala told NBC 5 that she struggled with the suspect and was doing everything to try to protect Peppa when the robber knocked her to the ground.
“My mom is obviously very brave you know,” said her daughter Angelica Pierzchala. “Who knows what someone would do in that instance?”
Neighbors rushed to help Pierzchala while the suspect took off with her dog. She rescued Peppa just two months ago.
“Still I feel she would come to me and greet me, my Peppa,” she said.
Pierzchala said Peppa had a rough start in life and was used for breeding. She can’t stop thinking about her and has been sharing pictures across social media hoping that someone would find her.
“Give me my Peppa back,” she pleaded.
While police continue the search for the suspect, Pierzchala and her family just hoping their beloved Peppa will be found safe.
“If you see Peppa will you please contact us,” said her daughter. “Bring her home. We really would love to have her back with us.”
Pierzchala told NBC 5 that police found surveillance video from a neighbor’s camera and officers also recovered the suspect’s cellphone.
It’s unclear if that phone was stolen. If you have any information about the case, you’re asked to contact Chicago police.