Santa Ana

Santa Ana K-9 Injured in Pursuit Arrest Has Setback, Needs Another Surgery

The high-speed chase involved several crashes and a violent carjacking before a police K-9 took down the suspect

A Santa Ana police dog who lost most of his teeth in a takedown of a chase suspect had a setback in his recovery and needed an additional "minor surgery" that will delay his return to work for a week or two, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

The dog, Puskas, underwent the additional surgery on Monday to remove some bone fragments from his mouth that were bothering him, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Puskas required new sutures, so that will put off his return to work for at least a week, Bertagna said.

Puskas the K-9 lost six teeth while stopping a suspect wanted for assaulting a police officer and leading a pursuit. On Wednesday, the hero pup was rewarded for his bravery. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

The 8-year-old canine lost his upper and lower teeth with the exception of his canine teeth in a conflict with Antonio Padilla Jr., 37, on Feb. 26.

Padilla, who sustained a serious injury to his arm inflicted by the dog, remained hospitalized Wednesday, Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos said.

[NATL-LA] 'On the Mend': Santa Ana Police K-9 Puskas Recovering After Pursuit Takedown


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Padilla is charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon, injuring a police dog, driving recklessly during a police pursuit, leading police on a chase and driving the wrong way in traffic, along with three misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run with property damage.

Padilla is a "third-striker" with prior convictions for robbery in 1998, making criminal threats in 2006, unlawful possession of a gun in 2007, burglary in 2011 and inflicting corporal injury last year, according to the criminal complaint.

Padilla faces up to 120 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.

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