COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) - It’s usually the police dog’s job to sink its teeth into an unruly suspect.
But deputies in Columbia County said 38-year-old Donald Watts beat their K-9 to the bite.
An arrest report reviewed by WJAX shows Watts faces charges for simple battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and aggravated battery on a service dog.
It started on Dec. 27 when a woman called deputies to report Watts for using meth. When deputies arrived, they received another call from a neighbor reporting a man in his yard with a flashlight.
Investigators saw the light and approached the suspect. As they moved closer, they could hear strange noises coming from a shallow creek.
The arrest report said Watts laughed and made bird noises as he paced back and forth. Other than the mud smeared over his body, deputies said Watts was completely nude.
Before they could get him in custody, deputies said he ran away and hid under the stairs of a nearby mobile home. When he came out of hiding, a deputy tried to detain him. But that ended in fisticuffs.
Authorities said Watts punched the deputy. Another deputy had seen enough and deployed a Taser.
It didn’t work.
The deputy who had been punched pulled out his Taser, took aim at Watts and fired.
As the suspect ran away, authorities decided to wait for backup. Six more deputies and their K-9, Casper, joined them.
The crew managed to catch up to the suspect in the woods where he reportedly got down on his hands and knees to growl like a dog. Accordingly, they sent their dog to subdue him.
But deputies said Watts pounced on the dog and bit its ear. Watts allegedly wrestled Casper to the ground with a chokehold.
Even so, he couldn’t hold him forever. Once free, deputies said Casper bit Watts on the head, finally giving deputies the chance to take control.
But despite being in custody, deputies said Watts remained defiant. As they led him out of the woods, Watts spat on one of the deputies, the arrest report stated.
A local hospital treated the man’s dog bite before authorities locked him inside the county jail.