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Uncooperative suspect bites Rio Rancho police dog

Rio Rancho Police K9 Diesel poses with his handler, officer Jonathan Hickerson, in 2018. A suspect bit Diesel on Thursday morning while Diesel was apprehending him, according to RRPD. (Rio Rancho Observer)

Rio Rancho Police K9 Diesel poses with his handler, officer Jonathan Hickerson, in 2018. A suspect bit Diesel on Thursday morning while Diesel was apprehending him, according to RRPD. (Rio Rancho Observer)

Police say a man bit a police dog that was used to arrest him during a violent incident Thursday morning in Rio Rancho.

Rio Rancho Police Capt. Andrew Rodriguez said officers were called to Rio West mobile home park in the 700 block of Grand Ridge Court to handle a report of an altercation between a man and a woman. The man, Chris Gavaldon, had used an ax to batter the woman, causing “significant injury” to her hand, Rodriguez said.

He said officers got medical treatment for the woman, but Gavaldon barricaded himself inside his home. Officers called the SWAT team, and New Mexico State Police came to help.

After a few hours of negotiation, Gavaldon came out briefly.

“He wasn’t being cooperative with us,” Rodriguez said.

So, officers deployed RRPD canine Diesel, who bit and apprehended Gavaldon.

“The man also bit the dog,” Rodriguez said. “… The bite didn’t break his skin, but he’ll be on antibiotics for a bit.”

Gavaldon is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a felony. Police are still investigating, which means Gavaldon could face more charges.

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