There’s something about a vicious dog that can make a person instantly compliant. Law enforcement officers carry guns, tasers, billy clubs, and have other assorted weapons handy when needed, but when they let loose a K9 on a suspect, they usually give up the fight and go in peace. Perhaps they realize the dog won’t have to face an internal affairs investigation for brutality, and so it won’t hold back.
Of course to call a law enforcement trained dog “vicious” is a misnomer. When K9 officers take their dogs out to meet the public, they are the most friendly, well behaved animals you are likely to encounter. But they are so well trained that when they are ordered to go after someone, they instantly look like Cujo, Stephen King’s terrifying animal from the 1983 movie.
On Saturday, November 22, a man from Santa Rosa met up with a Sheriff’s K9 and is still feeling the effects. That night, at about 10:40 pm, according to a Sonoma Sheriff’s officer press release, deputies were called out to the Campways Truck Accessories lot at 3948 Santa Rosa Avenue in south Santa Rosa. There are two residential homes at the back of the lot along Smith Street, and someone there had called to report a prowler.
The people at the house had heard and seen a man trying to get into the home, and in fear, they had retreated to the bathroom while he tried to gain entry through several windows and doors. Perhaps seeing the deputies arrive, the prowler hid himself in one of the cars at the house. Meanwhile, the deputies searched the area, along with their K9. They soon found a man hiding in the car, and ordered him out. He refused, and the deputies tried to take him into custody by force.
The man, identified as 36-year-old Mark William Baker, a transient, fought back with the deputies as they tried to detain him. With little success in calming him down, they enlisted the help of the dog, who soon persuaded Baker to give up the fight.
He was arrested and charged with attempted burglary, resisting arrest, prowling, and threatening a peace officer. After being taken to the hospital for treatment of dog bites, he was booked into the Sonoma County jail.
Baker had been arrested just two weeks prior by Santa Rosa Police on drug charges and a probation violation. And in August he was arrested on the same charges, and was suspected in a residential burglary of a bicyle. and theft from the Santa Rosa Jr. College campus.