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Suspected gang member arrested in Santa Rosa

A Santa Rosa police officer used a Taser on one of two pit bulls that charged at him and other officers during the arrest of a suspected gang member at a southeast Santa Rosa residence Friday night.

The incident occurred while Santa Rosa gang crimes detectives were serving a felony arrest warrant on Isiah Desean Simmons, 22, at a home on the 800 block of Aston Avenue at about 9:40 p.m. A team of patrol officers were assisting.

When one of the detectives announced the presence of police, Simmons ran out the back door of the home, police said. But a police officer with a K-9 unit was waiting in the rear. Simmons surrendered when he saw the police dog and officers quickly apprehended him.

Police had Simmons on the ground when the two pit bulls came charging out of the residence.

"They were close to shooting both of the dogs and probably most people would have," said Sgt. John Cregan, adding that the dogs "charged" several times at police when one of the officers used his Taser.

The Taser gave the pit bull about a 5-second shock. The dog yelped and then went back into the residence, Cregan said. The other pit bull, probably confused and scared, followed suit, Cregan said.

Cregan said the suspect's mother came out of the house and thanked the officers for not shooting the dogs. He said police were not aware that there were dogs at the house.

Cregan said neither dog was seriously injured. Police said the officer showed restraint in using the Taser rather than a firearm.

Simmons was booked into Sonoma County Jail on a $350,000 felony arrest warrant. The suspected offenses include assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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