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K-9 bites Manatee deputy following vehicle pursuit, arrest

MANATEE -- A deputy was bitten by his own K-9 partner following a car chase early Saturday, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.

At about 2:30 a.m., a deputy spotted a man driving a stolen vehicle near the 8400 block of 15th Street East. He and another deputy tried to make a traffic stop, but the driver continued south on 15th Street East.

For four minutes at speeds of 100 miles per hour, the deputies chased the car.

The chase ended when the two front tires of the stolen car were torn from the rims by “stop sticks,” a media release said.

The driver, Ricardo D. Guzman, 21, was arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding police, vehicle theft and driving without a valid license, according to the release. While Guzman was still in the car, a third deputy, his firearm lowered, was at the car’s rear with his K-9, Frankie.

When Guzman was arrested, Frankie turned toward his deputy “and engaged his left upper thigh,” the release said.

Frankie continued to bite until the deputy gained control of the dog and freed himself.

The deputy had two “K-9 puncture type wounds,” cuts and scratches, the release said.

He went to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he received stitches. The deputy was released from the hospital, the release said.

“We know we will obviously review the incident and go from there,” sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow said, adding that when working with animals, “you can’t always predict what’s going to happen.”