Service dog recovering after ex-con’s rampage in Rancho Santa Fe

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SAN DIEGO – A sheriff’s sergeant’s service dog appeared to be on his way to fully recovering Tuesday — days after he was involved in taking down a suspect in an early-morning rampage in Rancho Santa Fe.

Scott Bligh, a 21-year veteran of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, shot a knife-wielding parolee, identified as 50-year-old Edward Ray Nett, leaving him with non-fatal bullet wounds, after the ex-con allegedly stabbed a service dog and took a man hostage, Lt. Kenneth Nelson said. 

The service dog, named Banjer, underwent emergency surgery for a slash wound underneath his left eye.

The service dog, named Banjer, underwent emergency surgery for a slash wound underneath his left eye.

The events that led to the gunfire in the 6000 block of Paseo Delicias began about 5:30 a.m. Saturday, when deputies responded to reports of a person yelling and breaking things in the small commercial center of the upscale North County community east of Solana Beach.

When the patrol personnel arrived, Nett allegedly brandished a knife and threatened to stab them. The deputies responded by shooting pepper-spray projectiles at the suspect and deploying a police dog on him, Nelson said.

Nett — who was on conditional release from prison following a conviction for violently resisting sheriff’s deputies last year — was undeterred by the caustic chemical agent and allegedly slashed the canine in the face, then ran off, broke into a nearby apartment and briefly took a resident hostage.

The victim was able to break free and lock himself in a bathroom, unharmed. Nett, however, allegedly shouted to the deputies that he had slit the man’s throat, then walked outside and threatened them again.

At that point, Bligh fired four shots at Nett. The deputies provided first-aid to the suspect prior to the arrive of paramedics, who took him to a trauma center for treatment of non-life-threatening bullet wounds to his torso.

The service dog, named Banjer, underwent emergency surgery for a slash wound underneath his left eye. He was expected to make a full recovery, Nelson said.

Nett was expected to be booked into county jail on a slate of felony charges following his release from the hospital.