SAN DIEGO – Authorities Friday said a man wanted on suspicion of assaulting a bail bondsman stabbed a police K-9 as he attempted to evade capture in the San Diego River.
About 6:30 a.m., officers from the San Diego Fugitive Task Force were searching for the man. He had a warrant for assaulting the bondsman with a firearm and violently resisting officers, San Diego police Lt. Casey Gini told OnScene.TV. Gini called the man “a prolific suspect here in the riverbed” known to officers as they’ve had multiple run-ins with him.
When they located the man, Gini said he led them on “a very lengthy foot pursuit” through the riverbed.
“We were able to coordinate with officers from multiple divisions using K-9 and our ABLE unit to get him locked into a perimeter,” he said, referring to the department’s law enforcement helicopter.
Video from an OnScene photographer shows the man walking slowly near the edge of the water, between Morena Boulevard and Interstate 5, with officers trailing nearby. Several times, he’s seen entering the water, swimming away from officers, walking through marshland and talking on a cell phone for a time.
Exiting the water in one instance, the man was met by a black police K-9, backing him up into the river. He then pulls what appears to be a screwdriver from a pocket and stabs the dog six times in the head.
The dog was recalled by officers and taken to VCA Valley Animal Hospital and Emergency Center in Mission Valley, according to Gini. The K-9’s condition was “unknown.”
“Initially, it didn’t look bad as far as bleeding, but we don’t know internally what the injuries are,” he said.
Officers later caught up with the man and arrested him under an I-5 bridge near Rosecrans Street, OnScene video shows. He can be heard in the footage groaning and calling out for help from onlookers.
“Help, I’m being executed,” he said as officers walked him to a police car. “I need an ambulance. I can’t stand.”
He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.
No further details were immediately available.