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Police: DUI suspect punches Santa Rosa officer, police dog

A suspected DUI driver punched a Santa Rosa police officer and a police dog during a scuffle before he was arrested, according to police.

Jose Del Carmen Canche-Novelo, 29, of Santa Rosa, was arrested on suspicion of four charges including felony assault with a deadly weapon on an officer and misdemeanor assault on the dog, as well as suspected DUI, Sgt. Mike Clark said in a news release.

Police began receiving calls soon after 8 p.m. Saturday about a driver in a maroon minivan seen crashing into parked vehicles in Railroad Square. One witness followed the car and alerted police to the driver’s location on Earle Street.

An officer arrived as the minivan attempted repeatedly to back into a driveway, Clark said. The driver ran to a nearby home, where the officer grabbed the back of his shirt as he was entering the door, police said. The man turned and started punching the officer in the face and body, then threw a vase at the officer’s head, Clark said.

The officer activated a device that opened the door on his SUV and Kolt, his canine partner, ran to the two men and bit the suspect’s leg. Canche-Novelo began hitting the dog before he was handcuffed, police said.

Canche-Novelo was taken to a hospital for treatment and then booked into the Sonoma County Jail.

Randi Rossmann

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