CRIME WATCH

Man bites police K9 during arrest

May 4, 2018, 1:14 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Normally, it’s the K9 officer biting the suspect, but in this case, detectives say the suspect bit the dog.

Gang detectives were in the area near 1200 West and Lexington Avenue around 10 p.m. Thursday when they say Raul Amezcua, 46, started yelling at them.

Police say they weren’t looking for Amezcua, but have dealt with him in the past.

Salt Lake City Police Public Information Officer Detective Matt Roper said Amezcua got into his van and started driving at the officers. They dodged him and called for backup. The officers were in an unmarked police cruiser, but turned on their lights, so Amezcua would know who they are. Det. Roper says he wouldn’t let up, continued to revving his engine and drive toward the officers and then, reverse.

Eventually, Det. Roper says Amezcua hit the police cruiser and damaged a second one.

Officers say Amezcua would not get out of his van, so they attempted to use a Taser on him. When that didn’t work, they sent in the K9.

“The suspect at one point grabbed the K9 and actually bit the K9, and another officer was injured during the incident,” said Detective Matt Roper. He added, “Things can go from 0 to 100 miles an hour very quickly and in this case that was what happened.”

Police say neither the dog nor the officer received life threatening injuries.

Amezcua was taken to the hospital and later booked into jail. He faces charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal mischief, assault on a police service animal, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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