A pursuit driver unleashed a barrage of punches, but a determined police dog named Bosco refused to let go and helped bring a five-hour standoff to an end Sunday night in Orange County.
The standoff began about 5:45 p.m. on Lincoln Avenue and North Batavia Street, according to Orange police Sgt. Trevor Cullen and Anaheim police. The suspect was taken into custody about 10:30 p.m. after Bosco, who has been with the Orange Police Department since 2013, clamped onto his arm and pulled him from the pickup.
The man, identified as 55-year-old Steve Montee, punched the dog several times, landing a few glancing blows on Bosco's head.
The pursuit began after a crash in Orange.
"The driver hit a trash bin and possibly a car,'' Cullen told City News Service. "A passerby who saw the accident called us and officers responded to the scene."
The car was spotted and police tried to pull Montee over, but he refused and a pursuit began, Cullen said. The driver went northbound on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway and then westbound on the Riverside (91) Freeway before exiting on Kingsley and traveling down as far as Lincoln and Batavia.
According to police, Montee then ran out of gas. While in his car, Montee began threatening to harm police officers and saying that he wanted them to die, said Orange Police Department Sgt. Phil McMullin.
Negotiators tried in vain to talk him out of his vehicle and were forced to resort to shooting pepper spray through the back window. "We gave the suspect plenty of opportunities to surrender," McMullin said. "We waited and stood off with him. Ultimately, we decided to use a police service dog."
Police say Bosco, who is credited with 60 arrest assists in his five years with the department, is trained to hold his bite until ordered to let go. But since Montee continued to resist, more damage was done to his arm.
Montee was ultimately shocked with a stun gun to get him to the ground. He remains in the hospital after being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, evading arrest and fighting with a police dog.
NBC4 has also learned that Montee pled guilty to possessing and being under the influence of a controlled substance in 2005 and to reckless driving, evading police and driving under the influence of drugs in 2016.