Suspect to K-9 deputy: I could beat your dog in a fight

Suspect to K-9 deputy: I could beat your dog in a fight
Joshua Stephenson

SALEM, Ore. - The suspect sped away, only to turn up a dead end.

He got out of his car and started walking back toward the sheriff's deputy, ignoring commands to stay put.

So the deputy released his police dog "Yo," who grabbed the suspect by the leg.

The suspect then started trying to pry loose the dog's jaws. The deputy jumped in to help his K-9, and the duo managed to take the suspect into custody.

That's the basic outline of the story the Marion County Sheriff's Office has to tell about the arrest of 35-year-old Joshua Stephenson of Eugene.

The sheriff's office added this quote, credited to Stephenson:

"You have a great dog, he did his job very well," Stephenson allegedly told Deputy Jerry Wollenschlaeger, "but next time in a fight I could take him."

The situation started around 9 p.m. Friday when Wollenschlaeger pulled over Stephenson on Deer Park Drive SE near Corban University in Salem.

While Deputy Wollenschlaeger waited for Deputy Ryan Clarke, a member of the Traffic Safety Teams Aggressive Driving Unit, Stephenson sped off, the sheriff's office said.

The pursuit did not last long: Stephenson turned up a dead end driveway at Corban University.

After coming to a stop at the dead end, Stephenson refused to comply with Deputy Wollenschlaeger's commands. Stephenson exited his vehicle and began walking back toward Deputy Wollenschlaeger, refusing to surrender.

Deputy Wollenschlaeger released his K9 "Yo." The dog seized Stephenson's leg. Stephenson continued to resist and attempted to pry the dogs jaws open. Deputy Wollenschlaeger assisted his K9 and together they were able to take Mr. Stephenson into custody, the sheriff's office said.

Stephenson was taken to the Salem Hospital and then the Marion County Jail.

Stephenson is being held on the charges of DUII, Resisting Arrest, Recklessly Endangering Another, Attempt to Elude, Interfering with a Police Animal and Driving while Revoked Misdemeanor.

Photo of Deputy Jerry Wollenschlaeger and K-9 "Yo" (Sheldon Traver/Corban University)