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Minnesota man accused of fleeing, fighting with police dog before arrest

BYRON, Minn. -- A Rochester, Minn., man is recovering from injuries he received after authorities say he stole a vehicle, ran from them, then fought with a police dog.

The 25-year-old allegedly stole a pickup Thursday afternoon; when an Olmsted County sheriff’s deputy attempted to make a traffic stop, the man fled first in the truck, then bailed out and ran off.

Officers surrounded the area in the 6500 block of 19th Street Northwest in Kalmar Township, assisted by a police dog from Rochester. According to the report, the dog alerted at the shoreline of a reservoir in the area; his handler announced their presence several times and ordered the suspect to come out.

The dog remained on alert, said Lt. Casey Moilanen, and was apparently standing on the man’s stomach as he hid in the water. The suspect then fought with the dog, the report says, punching it in the head. The handler believed the man was trying to drown the police dog.

The dog was able to apprehend the 25-year-old with a bite to the face, Moilanen said; the man was taken by ambulance to a Rochester hospital. No information was available about his condition today, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Chase, the police dog, is fine, Moilanen said.

The suspect has not yet been charged.