LOCAL : Pit Bull, Gunfight Mark Arrest

From Times Wire Services

A drug suspect was in custody today, but not before his arresting officer was attacked by a pit bull and the officer’s partner found himself in a gunfight with a man they weren’t even after.

Police said the ordeal began as a routine traffic stop near Watson and Cruces streets about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Los Angeles police officers John Zambi and Arthur Bedard discovered that one of the three men in the car was carrying what appeared to be rock cocaine. The suspect, Tony Cooper, 22, was arrested and handcuffed but managed to break free, fleeing down an alley into a back yard. As Bedard gave chase, he was confronted by a snarling pit bulldog.

He fired three shots at the dog but missed.


Zambi heard the shots and ran to help his partner, but, before he could get there, a man he had never seen before leveled a revolver in his direction. The two exchanged gunshots but neither was hit.

A police dog was finally able to sniff Cooper out of his hiding place, and he was booked on possession of narcotics. The man who fired on Zambi escaped.