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|Judge(s):||Dan Goldstein, Joel Pressman|
For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.
Monday, Dec 31, 2007County: San Diego
Defendant/Suspect: Cory Byron
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
A pursuit suspect from Oceanside stopped his vehicle midspan on the Coronado Bridge, exited the car and jumped off the bridge at about 7:25 p.m. Monday, along with an Oceanside police dog that tried to stop him, according to California Highway Patrol officer Larry Landeros. The man lived, but the dog died.
The pursuit began in Oceanside at 6:44 p.m after police suspected the driver was intoxicated. During the pursuit, the man was involved in a hit-and-run crash, authorities said.Highway Patrol officers joined the pursuit southbound on Interstate 5 as the car approached the Coronado Bridge, Landeros said.
The police dog lunged at the suspect as he hesitated momentarily after exiting his vehicle. The dog, a German shepherd, and the suspect both fell and the dog's body has been recovered, Landeros said.
San Diego Harbor police picked up the man and he was taken to UCSD Medical Center, authorities said.
"We're very sad we've lost an officer dog," Landeros said. "Officer dogs are officers just like any other."
The motorist has not yet been identified, authorities said.
|A man who led officers on a New Year's Eve chase while drunk, then killed a police dog by jumping off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge with the animal, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony charges.|
Cory Byron, 28, admitted one count each of felony evading and driving under the influence. He also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of harming a service animal, said Deputy District Attorney Paul Myers.
Byron, who has previous DUI convictions from 2003 and 2005, faces three years and eight months in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 29 by Vista Judge Joel Pressman, Myers said.
Oceanside police Officer Kedrick Sadler testified at a hearing in April that he had just left his station with his dog, Stryker, when he spotted a possible drunken driver in a pickup truck swerving from lane to lane on nearby state Route 76.
Sadler said he turned on his overhead lights, then activated his siren when the driver didn't stop. Byron made a U-turn against a red arrow at Melrose Drive and went westbound on SR 76, running red lights at numerous intersections before striking a vehicle at College Avenue.
The defendant turned south on Interstate 5, exited at Pershing Drive in downtown San Diego and made a U-turn to return to the freeway, the officer testified.
According to Sadler, the pickup went onto the bridge but stopped at mid-span after striking a wall. He said he deployed Stryker when the defendant got out of his vehicle and acted like he was about to run, despite commands to stay put.
Stryker grabbed Byron's left arm and took him down to the roadway next to a concrete barrier, Sadler said. The dog continued gripping the defendant's arm as he got up and turned in a motion that seemed as if he was trying to fling the canine over the wall, the officer said.
Sadler said he tried to reach the dog, but Byron put his leg onto the barrier and went over with the animal still attached.
Bryon was rescued by San Diego Harbor Police officers immediately after the fall and was hospitalized for more than a week with a collapsed lung and other injuries.
Stryker was buried at Camp Pendleton.
Byron's blood-alcohol level was measured at .17 percent four hours after the pursuit and accident, a CHP officer testified.
|Source: San Diego 6 - Sept 14, 2008|
Update posted on Sep 14, 2008 - 3:28PM
|A court hearing for a drunken-driving suspect who jumped off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge with an Oceanside police dog has been postponed until April 17.|
Cory Byron, 27, survived the 200-foot fall Dec. 31, but the dog, Stryker, died.
The continuance of Byron's preliminary hearing was granted by Vista Superior Court Judge Dan Goldstein yesterday after prosecutors said new charges will be filed against him soon. The charges are related; three women were in a car Byron allegedly hit in Oceanside with a pickup he was driving.
The incident was first thought to be a noninjury, hit-and-run crash. The women, however, say they suffered significant injuries, prosecutor Paul Myers said.
"They've had a lot of medical problems since then," he said.
Byron, who lives in Vista, has been charged with animal cruelty to a police dog and evading police in a reckless manner, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor hit-and-run.
Myers said outside court yesterday that the misdemeanor charges probably will be raised to felony charges of hit-and-run causing injury and drunken driving causing injury.
Myers also said the District Attorney's Office still intends to pursue the animal-cruelty charges.
An infrared video shot from a police helicopter shows the crucial moments leading to Byron's jump from the bridge.
Byron's lawyer, Anthony Solare, said his client had no intention of hurting the dog and didn't know the animal had fallen off the bridge until later.
|Source: Union Tribune - Feb 22, 2008|
Update posted on Feb 22, 2008 - 7:44PM
- North County Times - Jan 1, 2008
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