WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — A disabled Rhode Island man suffered a seizure and died after becoming distraught when a thief stole his dog carrier.

Family and friends of 33-year-old Stuart Gast Jr. say he died Monday after chasing the thief outside his apartment building in Woonsocket. They say Gast was developmentally disabled and had epilepsy, but he hadn't had a seizure in more than eight years before suffering one Monday.

Relatives and friends say Gast was walking his beloved Chihuahua named Oreo when someone stole the carrier. They say he chased the thief and accidentally injured the dog by dragging it by its leash.

Friends say Gast became distraught, had a seizure and died later that night. Family friend Lisa Jean believes he died of a broken heart.

Shutterstock/Stephen B. Goodwin