San Diego

Man Uses Bear Spray on Deputies, Stabs K-9 in Face in Jamul

The deputy K-9 was taken to a nearby veterinarian with non life-threatening stab injuries to its head and face

An armed man sprayed three San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies with "bear spray" and stabbed a deputy K-9 in the head Tuesday morning in Jamul.

Deputies were called at around 10 a.m. to check on the man who was reportedly walking around a vehicle on the 15000 block of Skyline Truck Trail and talking to himself.

When deputies arrived the man, later identified as 29-year-old Richard Lechuga of San Diego, was inside of a vehicle.

The SDSO said Lechuga sprayed three deputies with bear spray, a pepper spray-like bear deterrent, through an open car window as they approached.

A deputy K-9 was then deployed after Lechuga allegedly brandished a knife and what appeared to be a handgun, deputies say. While engaged with the K-9, Lechuga stabbed it in the head and face.

Deputies turned to less-than-lethal force options to take Lechuga into custody, including non-lethal shotgun rounds, pepper balls, and Tasers.

The K-9 was taken to a nearby veterinarian with non life-threatening injuries and the deputies affected by the bear spray were treated at the scene by responding medics, the SDSO said.

Lechuga was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He faces charges including felony assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, assaulting a police animal, and resisting arrest.

The handgun deputies thought Lechuga might have was actually a pellet gun, according to the SDSO.

Anyone with information regarding the incident can submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

No other information was available.

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