A suspected car thief was arrested early Monday after allegedly punching and kicking a police dog who tracked him in Puyallup.
The owner of the car heard the Honda being stolen from outside his home in the 700 block of Ninth Avenue Southeast about 1:45 a.m. and called 911. An officer spotted the car about three miles away but the car was gone by the time the officer turned around to give chase.
Police found the car moments later in the Forest Green neighborhood. It was stopped at the end of the cul-de-sac with the driver’s door open and the windshield wipers still on. The suspect had fled on foot.
Officers began searching for the car thief and asked for assistance from a Pierce County sheriff’s tracking dog named Cramer.
Cramer eventually led police to the suspect in a yard in the 3200 block of 28th Street Place Southeast in the Manorwood neighborhood. “He immediately resisted,” Deputy Chief Dave McDonald said. “He punched the police dog several times in the head and kicked the dog in the ribs. It took several officers and Pierce County deputies to finally restrain him.”
The suspect, a 29-year-old Tacoma man, allegedly struggled with police for a 1½ minutes before he was hit with a Taser and taken into custody.
He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of assaulting a police dog, theft of a motor vehicle and possessing motor vehicle theft tools.