Pit bull, sheriff's K-9 shot in pursuit of Lake Elsinore transient

Sheriff K-9 wounded, pit bull shot during pursuit of a wanted transient in Lake Elsinore area

A wanted transient was arrested Saturday near Lake Elsinore after he escaped from a sheriff's deputy the day before, initiating a pursuit in which a K-9 unit was wounded and a pit bull was shot dead.

Shawn Redding, 35, was stopped at about 10 p.m. Friday by a Riverside County deputy but escaped before he could be put inside the patrol car, initiating a search, authorities said.

Redding had several arrest warrants, including on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, petty theft and assault and battery, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

A deputy with a canine partner, Tessa, joined the search. While checking a residential yard, authorities said a pit bull jumped out of an open window and attacked Tessa. A second deputy, who was assisting the canine handler, shot and killed the pit bull.

One of the rounds hit Tessa in the right paw, but she received treatment at a local veterinary hospital and should be able to return to work following her recovery, according to the sheriff's department.

The pit bull and its owner are unrelated to the suspect, said sheriff's Deputy Alberto Martinez.

Saturday morning, deputies began to check area homeless camps Redding was known to frequent, during which they learned he might be at a local business in the 17400 block of Grand Avenue in Lake Elsinore. He was arrested there without incident. 

Redding is scheduled to appear in court at the Murrieta Southwest Justice Center on Wednesday, according to Riverside County sheriff's inmate information.

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