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Moorhead man tried to choke out police dog while running from deputies, court docs allege

Fargo KVLY-TV 3/17/2022 Bailey Hurley

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - After fleeing from police and allegedly attempting to choke out a Clay County K9 dog, a Moorhead man has found himself behind bars.

36-year-old Martin Torres Jr. is facing a laundry list of charges including a two counts of a felon in possession of a firearm, fleeing an officer and harming a police dog.

Court documents say on March 13, Clay County deputies got into a car chase that eventually hit a dead end and the suspect vehicle was stuck into a snowbank. Documents say Torres was trying to dislodge the car when deputies broke the passenger window and sent in a K9 unit. The K9 bit and held Torres, but he continued to try to get his car unstuck to drive away. This happened more than once, according to court documents.

When documents say Torres was later tasered, he wasn’t phased and instead got out of the car and fled on foot through the snow. The K9 was again released who tackled Torres and held on to his leg. Torres then grabbed the K9 by the neck and began trying to choke the dog, documents say, before deputies piled on top of Torres to subdue and handcuff him.

When asked why he ran, Torres responded that he did not run and had always been in the car, documents say.

Documents say deputies found a loaded firearm in Torres’ coat pocket and a large backpack in the car with 27 rounds of 9mm Luger bullets.

Martin Torres mugshot © Provided by Fargo KVLY-TV Martin Torres mugshot

Torres has already been convicted of several charges including fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance in 2021, a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute over 500 grams of meth in 2009, and felony assault on a peace officer in 2018. A warrant was our for Torres at the time of this incident.

If convicted on the most serious charges, Torres faces up to 15 years in prison. The other man police say was involved in the chase, 37-year-old Sidney Monette has yet to face charges in the case.

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