Robbers got no jewelry, cash or similar valuables from Rahul Nath — but they did get away with his best friend, a 12-year-old black-and-brown chihuahua-terrier mix named Mango.
“I’ve been feeling really empty since realizing that she’s gone,” Nath said Saturday amid his search for the pooch snatched from him by a trio of teen robbers who are sought by police.
Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nath, a 29-year-old Brooklyn resident, was walking Mango on their usual route in East Williamsburg when he saw three young men between 15 and 20 years old.
“Their smiles looked like they found just the right prey,” Nath said. He said the trio appeared “Evil, excited, gleeful, ready.”
“At the next second, I was tackled into a fire hydrant,” Nath said. His phone and headphones fell into a puddle. Police said the tackle caused lacerations to his back, right knee and left arm.
“I just got up very quickly and tried to stand my ground and face them,” Nath said. “Then the one who tackled me chased me down the street and was like, ‘Give me your money, give me your cash, give me anything you have.’”
“I told him, ‘I don’t have anything’ repeatedly.’”
Nath did have the keys to his car, which he pulled from his pocket. But he decided not to hand them over.
After that, Nath recalled, the attacker said: “OK, then we’re going to take your dog.”
Nath had left Mango behind when he tried to flee. The robbers ran down the block, picked up the dog, and ran off.
Police said the robbers were last seen fleeing into 120 Humboldt St., a New York City Housing Authority building.
“The people who attacked me didn’t care about anything except taking the most valuable thing they saw I had,” Nath said. “They saw her value to me.”
Since the incident, Nath has been collecting security camera footage from nearby businesses in hopes of finding clues. One video shows the men throwing Mango into a discarded Amazon box. He’s also started a GoFundMe page in hope of raising reward money for her return.
Nath said he adopted Mango a year and half ago. “She had already been through a lot,” he said. But even at age 12, she enjoys playing fetch with a tennis ball, and has a few stuffed animals.
Police ask anyone with information about Mango’s whereabouts or the robbery suspects to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-8477. All calls are confidential.