Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) January 13, 2005
Arrested by police at gunpoint, handcuffed and interrogated for more than two hours after rescuing and returning super model Gisele BundchenÂs missing seven year old yorkshire terrier, ÂVida,Âa young San Bernardino County couple, Janelle Olson (20) and Paul Douwenga (21) have been openly telling their story, of being humiliatingly denied the $5000 Âno questions askedÂ reward offered for VidaÂs return, and answering all questions posed by a curious world press ( e.g., CNN, Inside Edition, Celebrity Justice, Access Hollywood, Vogue, NY Post, Globe Magazine) for a over a month. Bundchen, however, has consistently refused to answer media questions on the subject.
Vida disappeared on November 16 or 17, from the gated and walled Hollywood Hills estate of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, BundchenÂs long-term boyfriend. Janelle Olson and two friends found Vida, tagless and apparently abandoned, in violation of at least two Los Angeles city ordinances, running in the streets near the DiCaprio house and picked Vida up for her own safety after she was almost hit by a pick-up truck. A few days later in an effort to find the dogÂs owner, Janelle located GiseleÂs anonymous but lucrative reward offers. As soon as they could, Janelle and Paul followed the instructions on the reward poster and returned Vida at a hastily arranged meeting at the parking lot of Tower Records on Sunset strip. Instead of getting the promised $5,000, however, Paul and Janelle, with their child, 18 month old Skylar, were accosted and arrested at gunpoint by three detectives, handcuffed on the ground, and taken in the rear seat of a police car to the nearest station, three miles away, for intensive and accusatory questioning.
It seems that surveillance cameras, part of the DeCaprio estate security system, had recorded some portion of the rescue of Vida from the streets near the DiCaprio house. A criminal complaint of grand theft had been filed on behalf of Bundchen based on the dogÂs disappearance even though Vida was not wearing a tag and was running loose on the streets outside DiCaprioÂs walled, and normally closed-gated estate. Police and prosecutors ultimately concluded after their investigation, including viewing the surveillance tapes, that Paul and Janelle had done nothing wrong, although police have yet to respond substantively to a Freedom of Information Request pending from a news unit of one of the national tv networks about the incident and have declined to answer any questions regarding the incident including why they accepted and acted on an unsupported grand theft complaint.
Neither Ms. Bunchen, nor any of her representatives, however, have answered repeated media inquiries, put forth over the past month, regarding the incident, nor responded to printed accusations of fraud regarding the reward offer and implications of having filed a false criminal complaint against Janelle, based on the surveillance tape which apparently does not show any criminal conduct.
ÂAlthough I have spoken directly with Ms. BundchenÂs agent and with her attorney, no one has yet offered an apology, or even an explanation of why this well intentioned and entirely innocent young couple have been treated so shabbily, and certainly there has been no offer and no action taken to honor the $5000, Âno questions askedÂ reward made by Ms. Bundchen.Â according to Frank Harrigan of Claremont, California, an attorney representing Paul and Janelle. ÂIn order to dispel any doubts, without need of litigation, I had offered to allow Ms. BundchensÂ attorneys to interview my clients and recently they have even volunteered to submit to polygraph examination to confirm their complete innocence if Ms. Bundchen would do the same with respect to her actions which are questionable,Â added Harrigan. ÂSo far though, BundchenÂs people seem to have little to say in response, even though no litigation has yet been filed.Â
For all non-media inquires please contact:
The Law Office of Frank Edward Harrigan III
# # #