An Atwater police officer was bitten early Friday while struggling with a man suspected of being under the influence of drugs, the Police Department reported.
Officer Rod Dash suffered the injury and has been placed on medical leave. Lt. Samuel Joseph declined to comment further on the injury.
Lamont V. Johnson fought with several officers and also is accused of kicking a K-9 in the head and trying to take a police officer’s gun, Joseph said.
Johnson, 29, was booked into the Merced County jail on suspicion of battery on emergency responders, resisting a peace officer causing injury, making criminal threats, harming a police dog and resisting arrest. Bail was set at more than $95,000. He remained in custody Friday afternoon, according to booking records.
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Police were called around 4 a.m. to a home in the 1700 block of Second Street regarding a man who was “out of control,” Joseph said.
Investigators said Johnson began fighting with officers as soon as they arrived. The police dog bit Johnson several times and Dash tried to use his Taser to subdue him, without success. Another officer also struck Johnson with a police baton. Several officers struggled with Johnson. At one point Johnson grabbed an officer’s gun but was not able to remove it, police said.
Johnson was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Merced for treatment following his arrest and then booked.
Johnson was convicted in 2012 of drug possession and has been in and out of jail numerous times on probation violations, according to booking records.