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Calif. police, K-9 make wild arrest after man jumps in river

Police were responding to a call about someone trying to break into vehicles and found the stick-wielding suspect

By Bill Lindelof
The Sacramento Bee

REDDING, Calif. — Redding officers had their hands full Wednesday morning during the arrest of a man who they said swung a pointed stick at them, jumped into the river to escape and kicked a police dog in the face.

Police said they were called about 4 a.m. to a hotel on Bechelli Lane for a report of people trying to get into vehicles. When officers arrived, they tried to detain John Wilkinson, 48, of Redding.

According to a police press release, Wilkinson picked up a sharpened stick about the size of baseball bat and took a batting stance. Wilkinson allegedly told officers they would have to kill him before he would go back to jail.

Wilkinson then took off, running down a steep embankment toward the Sacramento River where he lost his footing and fell.

Undaunted, Wilkinson got up and jumped into the river. Eventually, he got out of the frigid water, and scampered back up the embankment, while being pursued by officers.

Still refusing to submit to arrest, a police dog was deployed to detain him. At that point Wilkinson kicked the dog in the face several times, police said.

Wilkinson was eventually subdued by officers using baton strikes. He was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a weapon at a peace officer, felony resisting a peace officer and battering a police dog named Carr.

The German shepherd was to be checked by a veterinarian to make sure he was okay.

Copyright 2014 The Sacramento Bee

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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