Redding police are rightly proud of their K9 police dog unit, which has been in place since 1965. Tarro, a 6-year-old German Shepherd, is trained in patrol duties, SWAT assistance, and narcotics detection. Tarro works with officer Ryan Ellis, a 16 year police veteran and former Marine.
Tarro’s services were put to good use Saturday night, when police were sent to a home on Royal Oaks Drive in northwest Redding in response to a burglar alarm. According to a Police Press release, the officers arrived with Tarro to check on the house. They found an unoccupied vehicle parked in the driveway, and saw that there was a sawed-off shotgun inside. They had determined that no one should have been home at the time.
As the officers prepared to enter the home, they saw a man run out the back door in an apparent attempt to escape, and possibly get into the wooded area behind the homes, potentially heading to the wild area surrounding the nearby Sacramento River. He did not get far, however, as the officers quickly captured him, without even needing to send in Tarro. He was identified as 35-year-old Redding resident Dean Michael Hagerman. Hagerman is known in some blogging circles as an enthusiast into the JFK conspiracy theories, and identifies himself as an “Alterationist”, a believer in conspiracy theories in the assassination of President Kennedy. Hagerman has a previous arrest from 2013 for disobeying a domestic relations court order, and later for failure to appear at court.
Meanwhile, officers prepared to enter the house to continue their investigation. They announced inside that anyone present should immediately surrender. When they got no response, Tarro was sent in to search. The dog had no trouble finding one more suspect, a 31-year-old man identified as Dale Allen Pierce Jr. of Redding. Pierce might be called a “frequent customer” of the Shasta County jail and law enforcement. His record shows ten arrests in 2014 alone, with charges ranging from narcotics, burglary, to property crimes and drunk diving. He was currently on “Post Release Community Supervision”, an alternative to incarceration as part of the AB109 program to reduce the burden on jails. He was even arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle just two days prior.
Hagerman and Pierce were both arrested and booked for burglary, possession of stolen property, and illegal weapons.