Man arrested after Mendocino County sheriff’s dog aids deputy in scuffle

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A 41-year-old Texas man suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and drugs nearly overpowered two Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies during a struggle Friday in Willits, punching one of the deputies in the face twice and grabbing him by the neck, officials said.

Amid the scuffle, one of the deputies reached for his remote door opener and released his canine partner, “Ruddick,” who came charging at the suspect, Michael Eugene Herman of Corpus Christi, according to a sheriff’s statement.

With the dog’s help, deputies were able to detain Herman, arresting him on suspicion of battery on a police officer and obstructing and resisting arrest.

Deputies were first called to the 24000 block of Birch Terrace in Willits at about 3 a.m. for a report of an unknown person ringing a door bell and yelling profanities. When a deputy arrived Herman was on the front porch of the residence yelling loudly.

Officials said Herman fled around the side of the house when the deputy approached. The deputy gave chase and soon ended up in a struggle with the suspect on the ground before another deputy arrived.

Herman refused to comply when asked to put his hands behind his back, the sheriff’s statement said. Instead, officials said he fought back and “continued to overpower the deputies and appeared to be under the influence of more than just an alcoholic beverage.”

The struggle ended with Ruddick’s arrival.

Herman was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital for medical evaluation before being booked into the Mendocino County Jail. His bail was set at $15,000. One of the deputies received minor injuries during the struggle and was treated and released from Howard Memorial.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @renofish.

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