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San Diego Police dog recovering after vicious attack

Karson, a 6-year-old German Shepherd, was stabbed several times by a wanted felon.

SAN DIEGO — A police dog stabbed by a wanted felon is recovering from his injuries.

The attack happened on Friday along a Mission Valley riverbed, as officers were trying to arrest the man.

Karson has been with the San Diego Police Department for four years. It was his first time getting injured on the job.

"If you look at the top of his head, he's got two injuries to the front behind his eye, and two more back here between his ears," said his handler, Officer Jonathan Wiese.

Leading up to the attack, officers spent nearly two hours trying to arrest a man along a riverbed near Mission Valley. 

The parolee was wanted for brandishing a handgun and threatening to stab a bail bondsman the week before.

When the usual tactics didn't work, Karson was sent in. Karson bit the man's arm. Then, seconds later, the man started stabbing him over and over on the head with a screwdriver.

"It's gut wrenching because your first thought is, that's my dog," said Officer Wiese. "That's my friend out there but then doing this job for so long you have to realize ok you have to put the emotions behind you. You have a job at task,”

Karson was immediately ordered to retreat, at which point he was checked out.

Officers ultimately used a taser on the man, and redeployed Karson to help take him into custody. 

"The San Diego Police Department we've had run ins with this person for numerous years. He's always fought officers," said Officer Wiese. "He's attacked officers in the past and he uses the river bed to escape," 

As for Karson, he has since had X-rays done and was just checked out again by a vet on Tuesday.

Officer Wiese, who has been Karson's handler for two years, says both physically and emotionally, Karson is doing well, and after a previously planned vacation, will be back to work in two weeks.

“He has no skull injuries and no long term injuries from that. Also, he's shown no diminish in drive which means he still wants to go out and do the job. These dogs want to do this job," said Officer Wiese. "There's nothing we make them do. All police dogs are out there because they want to do it. So, we're gonna make sure Karson still wants to do it and as long as he wants to do it, we're gonna let him keep doing it and we'll go from there,"

In addition to the charges the unnamed felon was wanted on, he will also face evading officers, as well as attacking a police dog, which is a felony.

WATCH RELATED: Chula Vista Police respond to viral video of arrest involving K9 (July 2022)

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