Police arrested an Oakland, California dog owner who is accused of biting a jogger after a confrontation over her pet.
BuzzFeed News reported that 19-year-old Alma Cadwalader was arrested Jan. 4.
On Jan. 3, officials with the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department said Cadwalader’s dog tried to attack a jogger on a trail at Anthony Chabot Regional Park. The Associated Press reported that the jogger defended herself from the attack with pepper spray.
According Cadwalader’s attorney, Emily L. Dahm, her client was with two six-year-old dogs -- a shepherd/husky mix named Pouya and a lab mix named Otto.
KPIX reported that Cadwalader later attacked the jogger. Police say Cadwalader tackled the jogger and punched her repeatedly. When the jogger used her forearm to push Cadwalader off of her, police said the woman was bitten. She also allegedly took the victim’s pepper spray after the attack, KTVU reported.
But Dahm told BuzzFeed News Monday the bite was out of self defense and her client’s dogs were not aggressive and did not attack or bark at the jogger.
“I think she assumed incorrectly that the dogs were a threat to her and were going to attack her,” Dahm said. “For whatever reason, she thought it was necessary to pepper-spray the dogs and I can’t see any reason for the life of me why that would be necessary under the circumstances.
“My client tried to grab the pepper spray, and that is when the jogger grabbed my client by the hair and started kneeing her, kicking her in the groin. When she had my client’s hair in her fist and wouldn’t let go, my client bit her arm to get her to release.”
The dog’s eyes were flushed out after being pepper sprayed.
Dahm said her client doesn’t want to press charges against the jogger and that she is just looking for justice, adding that the viral story has been “horribly embarrassing” for Cadwalader.
“She just wants her name cleared and she wants to move on,” Dahm said.
Cadwalader was interviewed by investigators and arrested on suspicion of battery with serious bodily injury, false imprisonment with violence and robbery. As of Jan. 10, she does not appear in the Alameda County inmate locator.
This story has been updated to reflect information from Cadwalader’s attorney.