Woman, Dog Fight Off Would Be Robber on I-90

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 6:39 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 6:39 PM EDT

Town of Brant, NY (WKBW) -- A driver and her dog fight off a thief along the I-90 in the Town of Brant. This happened in broad daylight right on the I-90.

Primo is a friendly 8 month old Central Asian Shepard. Jeannine Depalma has been breeding these dogs for 13 years, and has 11 at her home in Wilson.
Primo was with her during the terrifying incident -- "If I didn't have the dog... I don't want to think about that." Jeannine says.

After a long trip home from Indiana, Primo and Jeannine stopped for a break just before the Angola rest stop. As they started walking through the brush, Jeannine noticed a car had pulled up behind hers. "When I started walking back, I noticed a person by side of (my) car, and another person in the car. At first, I thought they were just there to help me, thinking I broke down."

But as Jeannine and Primo approached her car, "As soon as (Primo) came up, the person (in the car) yelled 'Watch the dog'. That's when I turned away from my car, and noticed a guy in my car - in front of the car. He was in the front seat where my pocketbook was."

Primo is no ordinary dog. "The dogs take on predators like grizzly bears and mountain lions. They're bred for protection." Jeannine says. Primo knew just what to do when it looked like Jeannine was in danger. "When I jumped, he reacted to my fear. And he hit the guy, and knocked him down." She claims, "The guy fell down, and started punching the dog in his head." Primo bit the suspect in his shoulder, but Jeannine says the suspect tried to throw another punch. Now it was Jeannine's turn to protect Primo. "The guy got up, and as he took another swing...I swung at him and broke all my nails."

Jeannine says the suspect pushed her to the ground, jumped in his friend's car, and took off. Jeannine called police. Both she and Primo are ok, but the suspects are still out there.
One suspect would have a dog bite to the upper chest area. The suspects left in a white car. If you have information, you're asked to call New York State Police.