A Morgan Hill man ordered his pit bull to attack an officer when he was stopped for a pedestrian violation, police said.
The 29-year-old man was walking in the area of Monterey Road and Burnett Avenue when an officer on patrol saw him crossing the street against a traffic signal, according to Morgan Hill Cpl. Rod Krewson. The man was walking with a pit bull on a leash.
When the officer contacted the man, identified as Joe A. Gonzalez, he asked the suspect to tie the dog down, Krewson said. Gonzalez complied at first, but then suddenly untied the dog and began to run away from the officer.
The officer ran after Gonzalez, who at one point during the chase turned to his dog and ordered the animal to bite the pursuing officer by saying “Sic him!” according to Krewson.
The officer was able to outrun the dog and catch up to Gonzalez, Krewson said. The chase ended in an open field on the 200 block of Burnett Avenue, about 200 yards from where it began. Gonzalez allegedly “spun around and confronted the officer in a threatening manner,” and the officer tased the suspect with his Taser.
By that time multiple officers were at the scene, and feared the dog might try to protect its owner and attack the police when they detained Gonzalez, Krewson said. The officers were able to “ruse the dog away from” Gonzalez, and into a patrol car before hand-cuffing Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was detained, and was medically cleared at a nearby hospital before being booked into Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon (the dog), delaying a peace officer, possession of narcotic paraphernalia (a “crank pipe”), a parole hold and a no-bail felony warrant for drug violations, Krewson said.
The dog is detained at the city’s pound, and officers will try to arrange for a friend or relative of Gonzalez’ to retrieve the dog, Krewson said. After 10 days, if no one claims the animal it will be transported to a shelter.