Suspect Arrested After Fight With Police Dog

COSTA MESA (CNS) - A police dog chomped on a probationer today after he fled from officers and left a loaded assault-style rifle behind in a vehicle he crashed into a pole in Costa Mesa.

An officer tried to pull over the vehicle about 2:15 a.m. for a vehicle code violation, but the driver, later identified as 24-year-old Arthur Barajas Jr. of Anaheim, refused to stop and led officers on slow-speed chase, according to Costa Mesa Police Department spokeswoman Roxi Fyad.

During the chase, Barajas appeared to be handling an item that was hidden from pursuing officers, Fyad said.

``The item, later determined to be a fully loaded AR-15, was abandoned in the front seat of the vehicle after the suspect crashed into a phone pole on Fairview (Road) and Wilson (Street) and fled on foot,'' Fyad said.

A perimeter was set up and a sheriff's helicopter and K-9 unit from the Huntington Beach Police Department joined the search, Fyad said.

Barajas was eventually found hiding in an apartment patio area in the 200 block of Avocado Avenue, she said.

``Barajas would not surrender and tried to conceal himself under a cover,'' Fyad said. ``The K-9 was deployed and remained on the bite while the suspect continued to fight. Officers then took Barajas into custody, and he was treated by Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue medics and then transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of bite marks and a broken arm.''

Barajas was booked on suspicion of evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety, carrying a stolen firearm, carrying a loaded firearm after a prior felony conviction, violating probation, hit and run by a runaway vehicle with property damage, failure to stop and obstructing a peace officer, Fyad said.

It's unclear why Barajas was on probation or if the police dog bite caused his broken arm.

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