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Ventura County

Oxnard Man Held in Death of Police Dog

Crime: Canine stabbed while helping subdue suspect who allegedly threatened an officer.


A 20-year-old Oxnard man was in custody Saturday in the stabbing death of an Oxnard police dog.

Timothy Paul Knight was booked into Ventura County Jail as a suspect on a variety of charges stemming from an incident Friday night.

Knight allegedly stabbed 4-year-old Rudy as the dog tried to subdue him during a confrontation with an Oxnard police officer. Rudy was taken to an emergency pet hospital, where he was declared dead.

"It's more than just a dog dying," Cmdr. Scott Whitney said. "He was obviously part of the team and he died protecting his partner. The guys are really down."

Police said the incident began about 6:35 p.m. Friday when an officer stopped a vehicle on suspected traffic violations. The driver, who police identified as Knight, ran into his family's home in the 1700 block of Tehama Street, knocked down his grandmother and left through another door. The officer called for assistance.

Officer J.R. Perez, who was on patrol with Rudy, stopped a car in which the suspect was then reported riding. Police said Knight got out and taunted Perez with a knife, refusing to drop the weapon. As Knight started to run away, Perez told Rudy to subdue him.

Knight was treated for dog bites at Ventura County Medical Center.

Police said he was wanted on suspicion of violating his probation. In addition to killing the dog, he faces charges of brandishing a deadly weapon at a police officer and resisting arrest.

Rudy was a Belgian Malinois who received his initial training in Europe. He was particularly good with children, a police spokesman said.

Rudy's was the department's first canine death, police said.

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