REDDING – A man who has been in and out of jail a lot recently decided he would not go back again, but of course he is back, and may serve longer this time for fighting a police dog.
48-year-old John Charles Wilkinson has had quite a few run-ins with the law this past year. In April 2013 he was arrested in Dairyville in Tehama County and charged with possession of a controlled substance. In August he was arrested for failure to appear in court. And on January 30, he was picked up by Redding Police for indecent exposure, and was also charged with probation violations. Under California’s AB109 provisions, he was once again released under post-release community supervision.
At 3:53 this morning, however, he was up to no good once again. According to the Redding Police, officers were sent to the Hilltop Garden Inn on Bechelli Lane on a report of people trying to go through the vehicles parked there. When officers arrived, they found Wilkerson, but when they tried to detain him as a suspect, he picked up a large sharpened stick, about the size of a baseball bat. He took a hitting stance ready to swing away, and said they’d have to kill him before bringing him back to jail.
The Hilltop Garden Inn is near Interstate 5 where Bonnyview crosses the Sacramento River. Wilkinson eventually took off running west, towards the river, but as he hit the steep embankment, he lost his footing and fell down towards the shore. He then decided to go for it, jumping in the river to make his getaway. He didn’t get far in the cold early morning water, and came back out on the same side, officers still in pursuit. He climbed back up the embankment, but did not give up.
Officers employed their K9 unit, police dog Carr, to help apprehend Wilkinson. He fought back, and kicked the dog several times in the head. The officers resorted to baton strikes to subdue Wilkinson, and were able to finally arrest him. After being medically cleared, he was booked into Shasta County Jail on charges of brandishing a weapon at a peace officer, resisting arrest, and battering a police dog. Apparently he did not manage to steal anything before he was caught, as no charges related to burglary or breaking into vehicles were made at this time. Carr seemed to handle the encounter with little injury, though he will be thoroughly checked by his handler and veterinarian.