A California teenager is facing multiple charges after police say her dog tried to attack a female jogger, and then the teen bit the jogger after she defended herself with pepper spray.
The teen’s lawyer, however, contends that no dog attack actually happened, and that the jogger was in fact the instigator.
Last week, the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department said in a statement that a dog attempted to attack the jogger when she was on a run in Oakland’s Anthony Chabot Regional Park on Thursday morning. The jogger used pepper spray against the dog.
Police stated that the dog’s owner, 19-year-old Alma Cadwalader, then confronted the jogger and “a physical altercation ensued” that ended in Cadwalader biting the woman.
The case went viral after the department posted photos on Facebook showing human bite marks on the woman’s forearm.
“It was pretty obvious it was not canine bites but rather human teeth,” Lt. David Phulps told NBC Bay Area last week. “In addition to the bite, there was punching, kicking. This dog owner stopped her in her tracks on the trail.”
But on Sunday night, Cadwalader’s attorney released a statement disputing the police’s version of events.
“There was no ‘dog attack,’” attorney Emily L Dahm said in the statement. According to Dahm, Cadwalader’s dogs simply ran up to the jogger in an approved off-leash area, and the woman “overreacted” and pepper-sprayed them.
Dahm said that Cadwalader approached and tried to grab the pepper spray from the woman, at which point the jogger hit her, kicked her and grabbed her hair. She says her client only bit the woman “in self-defense.”
Cadwalader is facing charges of battery, false imprisonment and robbery — the last charge stemming from allegedly taking the jogger’s pepper spray. She’s set to be arraigned Monday afternoon and plans to fight the charges, according to the statement.
East Bay Regional Park District Police Department Sgt. Anthony Segotta told HuffPost on Saturday that the dogs involved in the incident were not in any sort of jeopardy.
This has been updated throughout.