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How a dog saved a Fresno officer's life, police say. The K-9, though, was badly wounded

Fresno Bee logoFresno Bee 4/11/2021 Anthony Galaviz, The Fresno Bee

Apr. 11—A police K-9 dog was stabbed multiple times by an alleged violent suspect but managed to save the life of an officer, according to the Fresno Police Department.

The incident happened Saturday morning in central Fresno as police tried to detain suspect Carlos Castanos after receiving a call that a woman was being held against her will, according to Lt. Tim Tietjen.

Castanos had warrants out for his arrest and has a violent history, Tietjen said.

As officers surrounded the home in the 1800 block of West Brown Avenue, near Clinton Avenue and Highway 99, and made contact with Castanos in front of the house, the suspect ran to the back of the house and jumped a fence.

An officer with the police dog who was positioned toward the back of the house confronted Castanos and ordered him to stop, but the suspect continued to run, Tietjen said.

That's when the K-9 named Argo chased down and grabbed Castanos' left arm. However, Castanos pulled out a knife and stabbed the dog six times, then moved toward officers, Tietjen said.

In addition, a pitbull attacked the police dog during the stabbing incident, prompting the K-9 officer to shoot the pitbull one time. Another officer tased Castanos, which finally got the suspect to drop the knife, Tietjen said.

Argo, the police K-9, suffered wounds to his back and left eye and had to undergo surgery. The dog, who has been with Fresno Police for two years, is expected to survive, Tietjen said.

"The K-9 saved the officer's life," Tietjen said. "If the K-9 wasn't present, that guy would've been able to move towards the officer and stabbed (him). They were in close proximity."

Castanos was taken to Community Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Castanos, 30, was booked into Fresno County Jail on multiple charges including assault on a police officer, as well as warrants to face charges of burglary, evading a police officer and domestic violence.

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