K9 Duke OK after clubbed by suspect
■ Chronicle News Staff
An uncontrollable and enraged man who police subdued after he tried to break into a Hemet apartment was hospitalized Thursday, Aug. 9, after he stopped breathing following a fight with police. He survived but was in critical condition, police reported.
The man, identified only as a 47-year-old Orange County resident, was trying to break into a woman’s apartment with a shovel, according to the frantic woman inside who called police. There was no indication from police whether she knew the man, but initial indications are that she did not.
Standing outside on a second-story balcony, the man managed to break the handle of the shovel in his attempt to smash through the glass door of the apartment, all the while yelling at police and throwing furniture off the balcony at officers below. The incident happened in the 100 block of North Hamilton Avenue in Hemet, police said.
At one point, police loosed Hemet’s hero police dog, Duke, on the man, who struck the dog with the shovel handle. Duke, however, who bit the man with his large canine teeth – as he was trained to do – apparently was not seriously injured. Officers also used their tasers on the man, who at first was not subdued, although he yelled when he was hit with the darts, which he immediately managed to pull out. Eventually the man was brought down, and officers were able to handcuff him, but he resisted them during the whole encounter.
While waiting for an ambulance, however, the suspect apparently stopped breathing and became unresponsive prompting officers to begin life-saving measures, including CPR. He was taken to the hospital and is currently listed in critical condition. Initial TV news reports erroneously reported the man had died while in custody, but those reports were later updated by police and corrected by the station.
If and when he gets out of the hospital, the man will be facing charges of attempted burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest.
Anyone with information about this incident may call the Hemet Police Anonymous Tip Line (951)765-3897 or Anonymous Tip Line: (866) 640-TIPS (8477) Online Tips: www.crimestoppersplus.org Face Book: www.facebook.com/ValleyCrimeStoppersPlus.