FULLERTON, Calif. -- An alleged shoplifter is in the hospital Wednesday morning, the victim of self-inflicted stab wounds, after a bizarre night of theft, car chases and assault.
Fullerton Police say 37-year-old Michael Satterfield, along with Crystal Weber, 38, and a third person attempted to steal electronics from the Target store. The store's manager said employees knew the group looked suspicious early-on and called police.
By the time Fullerton Police officers arrived, Satterfield had allegedly struck a female security guard in the leg to escape into a white van with Weber. Police said they were unable to account for the third person.
A short time later, police spotted the white van and began a pursuit into the streets of La Habra. It ended on Pioneer Boulevard when the suspect attempted to get onto the 5 Freeway. Police performed a PIT maneuver to stop the van.
"It was then that it got a little interesting," says Fullerton Police Sgt. Mike MacDonald. "The suspect brandished what appeared to be a rifle at first."
That rifle turned out to be a metal rod, raised in a way to make it appear like a weapon, police said.
"He used that rod to hit our K-9 on the nose, causing a laceration," MacDonald said.
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Police say they then shined their lights inside the van, and saw more bizarre activity.
"The suspect had taken a shard of glass and began to slash at himself and his passenger," MacDonald said. "At this point we were afraid he may take his passenger's life, so we moved in to remove him."
MacDonald says when they did that, they realized the K-9 had found another way into the van through a back window and had bitten down on the driver's shoulder blade.
"We were able to pull him from that vehicle, get him on the ground," he said. "He was still bleeding profusely at this time."
News video from the air shows what some may consider excessive force at this point. MacDonald denies it rose to that level.
"The perception may have been that, but this individual was not releasing his arms for us to arrest him. He was bleeding so badly at this point, we needed to get him into custody as soon as possible, begin triage and get him the aid he needed," MacDonald said.
Satterfield was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. Once released, Fullerton police say he'll have to face a long list of charges.
Weber, the passenger in the van, was also taken to the hospital. She was released Wednesday morning and arrested as an accomplice to the theft along with a parole violation and on charges she was part of another grand theft in San Diego.
Fullerton police asked that anyone with information on the third, unidentified person call headquarters.