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Police Dog Attacking Officer Is Wounded

November 02, 1986

CHULA VISTA — A Chula Vista police officer involved in a high-speed chase on Interstate 5 Friday night with a suspected drunk driver in a reported stolen van wounded a police dog he mistook to be the motorist's pet.

The incident began about 11 p.m., when two Chula Vista police officers attempted to stop the van on H Street in Chula Vista near the I-5 on-ramp because they suspected the driver had been drinking, a police spokeswoman said. She said the driver sped off, and two units pursued him northbound on I-5 at speeds of 90 to 95 m.p.h.

The van driver slammed on his brakes just past the 24th Street exit in National City, resulting in one of the police units passing him and having to approach the van from the front.

"When the officers approached from the front, a dog from the K-9 unit, which had pulled up behind the van, began to attack one of the officers, who then shot the dog in the chest," the spokeswoman said. "The officer thought the dog had come out of the van."

The driver of the van fled. Police later discovered the van had been reported stolen in Los Angeles some days ago, the spokeswoman said.

Rosco, the police dog, was in good condition at Bonita Pet Hospital. The name of the officer who shot him was not released, but the spokeswoman said he will not be reprimanded because it was "an honest mistake."

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