A Brentwood, Calif. officer says a ‘police canine warning’ was not given before the dog ripped off the shoplifting suspect’s scalp
Police body camera video is sometimes so graphic that ABC7 News has scrambled it.
On February 10, 2020, Talmika Bates admitted to shoplifting in a Brentwood Ulta Beauty.
According to the police report obtained by ABC7 News’ I-Team, Bates and two others stole approximately $10,000 worth of perfume.
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“I was just an ordinary person like everyone else, trying to run away and it got out of hand,” Bates said.
Bates was in a getaway car with the other suspects who crashed into a police cruiser, according to the police report and seen in the dashcam video.
The suspects then abandoned the car.
Police apprehended a suspect hiding in a trash can, according to the police report. She called the others on her cell phone speaker, who told them where they were hiding while an officer listened.
“Girl, in a bush and this boy keeps staring at us,” one of the suspects said.
As Bates says she hid in the bushes, Brentwood Police Department dog Marco and his petty officer Ryan Rezentes found her.
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“The dog is biting me,” Bates could be heard shouting in the police body-worn camera video.
“I just feel something attacking me, like paws on my back, and then I start to feel scalp tears here, here, here and gnashing of teeth,” Bates said, pointing his head during a interview with ABC7 News.
“I thought I was going to die, I really did,” she continued.
Terrified, Bates says she called her mother.
“Mom, my whole brain is bleeding, Mom,” she can be heard screaming in the video.
In a statement, the Brentwood Police Officers Association says police dogs are often used to search these types of areas because a potentially armed suspect may be hiding in overgrown vegetation.
According to the police report, Officer Rezentes writes: “When Marco locates the source of the human scent and if he comes into contact with the subject, he is trained to bite the first part of the body he comes into contact with. With or without orders. Marco will hold this suspect until I release him.”
“No warning, don’t come out with your hands up, it would have been better for me, take me to jail,” Bates said in his interview with ABC7 News.
Officer Rezentes writes, “The search command was the only command given, which is the standard of my training and experience for an open area search.”
He writes in the police report: “No police canine warning was given as I had no indication that there were any suspects in the area.”
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He writes that when he heard someone yell something like “get the dog down”, he started calling Bates to come over and “bring me the dog”. Without complying, he writes that he walked over to her and “took Marco out of the bite.”
The report says Officer Rezentes estimates Marco bit Bates for approximately 60 seconds, after reviewing body camera video.
“All over perfumes and cosmetics,” said Bates attorney Adante Pointer.
Pointer filed a lawsuit on Bates’ behalf against Ryan Rezentes in his capacity as a Brentwood City police officer.
“We want to draw attention to this officer and this out-of-control German Shepherd,” Pointer said.
“None are fit to serve the community they are sworn to protect,” Pointer continued.
“I had no idea the dog was going to bite me,” Bates can be heard saying in the video.
“Well, you shouldn’t run away from the police,” an officer replies.
In an emailed statement, the City of Brentwood told ABC7 News, “Due to ongoing civil litigation, the City of Brentwood, including the Brentwood Police Department, will not be commenting on specific details and personnel questions requested by the media regarding this incident. We can share that. This incident was reviewed by the Brentwood Police Department’s Use of Force Committee, which concluded that the use of force was within policy and law in the circumstances that involved a high-speed chase and a collision with a Brentwood police vehicle. deployment of a K9 program since April 2021.”
The city would not say why the police department is not currently deploying a K9 program since April 2021.
Surgeons were able to reattach Bates’ scalp, but she says she still has nightmares, memory loss and depression.
“I want the dog down, I want him back, I want justice done,” Bates said.
To see more stories and videos from ABC7 News’ I-Team, go here.
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