The Prescott Valley Police Department defended the use of an attack dog on a suspect who appeared on a police bodycam video to be complying with officers.
The department issued a statement on Monday disputing reports that 28-year-old Alfredo Saldivar who was arrested in May on a total of 16 different charges, was compliant with law enforcement personnel.
The statement said that Saldivar hesitated before obeying orders to stand up. By the time Saldivar decided to comply, it was too late to stop the dog.
The video shows Saldivar start to stand up when ordered by an officer when the Belgian Malinois runs over and bites him. Saldivar immediately went down, screaming, “Please stop the dog!”
Officers ordered the dog to stop after about a minute. As they are handcuffing Saldivar and searching his belongings, he said he planned to sue the officers.
Bami Adelayo, Saldivar’s attorney, defended her client, stating that there was no reason for him to be “mauled” by the dog.
“In light of George Floyd and everything, they thought ‘We need to change the narrative,’” Adelayo said. “But the video is what it is. It doesn’t lie.”
Adelayo went on to claim that Saldivar, who remains in Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on no bond, has permanent damage to his arm from the attack.
Authorities say Saldivar was driving a truck through the Prescott area at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour when he attempted to hit a police car with his truck. The officer fired his weapon, which hit Saldivar in the head and the vehicle.
That didn’t stop Saldivar, a Tucson resident, who eventually slammed into another car, injuring a woman who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Saldivar abandoned the truck at a shopping center, where he was boxed in by police, and surrendered the chase.
Police described the suspect’s injuries as non-life-threatening, but Saldivar refused medical attention. According to Adelayo, Saldivar has a bullet fragment in his head from the officer that fired at him.
Among the 16 charges Saldivar is facing, they include multiple charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of endangerment, two counts of unlawful flight from law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting arrest, three counts of criminal damage, a slew of drug charges, and driving on a suspended license.
The investigation into the case is ongoing.