DUNEDIN, Fla. — An 11-month old Chihuahua named “Fey” is back with her rightful owner after Pinellas County investigators said she was stolen Saturday night.
Lillian Frattalone said she was sitting outside Julian’s Little Italy Italian restaurant when the man came over and started petting her dog and talking to her. A few seconds later he picked the dog up and walked away.
“Give me my dog, that’s my dog,” Frattalone said she yelled to the man. The 72-year-old had her other dog Buster and a shopping cart with her but couldn’t stop him.
“I couldn’t catch him. I got out of breath,” Frattalone said.
Frattalone said she was reunited with her dog about two hours later. According to the arrest report, deputies spotted Anthony Espinosa “intoxicated in downtown Dunedin” walking with Fey. Deputies said he claimed he paid for the dog.
Espinosa is charged with Grand Theft because the report lists the Chihuahua is worth $600 to $800. Espinosa was arrested in the past for crimes that include DUI, theft, auto theft, and domestic violence.
“I sleep with Fey every night,” Frattalone said. “She’s all I have; that’s my baby."
Last month Frattalone said her longtime boyfriend died. She walks the dogs at the strip mall by her home because she gets to get out and talk to people. She was heartbroken thinking she might never see her dog again.
“I don’t bother nobody, why you gotta bother my dog, you know what I mean I think that’s cruel,” Frattalone said. “He put himself in jail. If he didn’t take my dog he’d still be walking the road.”
The owner of Julian’s Little Italy, Julian Adams, gave ABC Action News the surveillance video showing the dog getting stolen. He is grateful his regular customer got her dog back.
“I’m so glad that he was taken off the streets and can’t do this to somebody else because if you can hurt an animal, you can hurt anything,” Adams said.