A man who bit a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy, "growling like a dog" in a hostile confrontation, has been sentenced to a year in custody, the San Diego County District Attorney's office confirmed.
Casey Clason previously pleaded guilty to biting a Sheriff's deputy after authorities were called to a disturbance at a 7-Eleven store in Vista.
The incident, caught on camera, began when Clason walked into a 7-Eleven on E. Vista Way and Vale Terrace in Vista, emptied a liter of Coke on his head, spiked the bottle to the ground and then walked out of the convenience store, Deputy DA Keith Watanabe said.
The man was visibly distraught, deputies said, so the employees at the store called 911 for help.
Deputies responded to the scene and found Clason in the parking lot of a nearby church, with his hands wrapped around a flag pole.
Despite commands, Clason ignored the deputies and walked away.
When the deputies tried to detain him, Clason became violent right away and tried to kick deputies while on his back, SDSO Captain Charles Cinnamo said. Deputies called for backup.
The incident quickly escalated as both deputies tried to Tase the defendant, Watanabe said.
Then a fight began, Watanabe said. Clason bit one of the deputy's legs and refused to let to, Watanabe said.
Multiple deputies rushed to the scene, hitting Clason and striking with flashlights until the deputy was able to escape Clason's jaws.
"During this entire encounter the defendant had bitten down on a deputy sheriff's calf and was growling like an animal and refused to let go," Watanabe said. "The deputies did what they needed to do in order to protect themselves from this type of behavior from the defendant."
The deputy's pants were able to protect him from the full impact of Clason's bite, Watanabe said.
Deputies initially suspected Clason was under the influence, but officials have not received a full toxicology report yet.
Clason was facing three years and eight months in prison.
Clason will be eligible for release to residential rehab after 270 days in jail.