When that didn't work, they went inside and grabbed steak knives, which they used to repeatedly stab the dog until it let go.
Animal control collected the animal, who was by then lethargic, from the victim's front yard.
Riverside Animal Control Officer Will Luna said the dog stood at attention when officers arrived. "That dog must have recognized me and (my) uniform and as someone of authority," he said. "He didn’t show any aggression toward me at all."
Ian Ilano told KCAL that he gave the dog water about an hour before the attack on the 20-year-old man.
“He looked thirsty. So I gave him water and food, and I fed him until he was done,” he said.
Ilano's mother, Maria Sajorda, said the dog did not seem aggressive to them.
“The dog was pretty friendly," she said. "We wanted to keep the dog for a little while. He wasn’t really aggressive."
Examination of a microchip in the dog showed that it was a police dog at some point.