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Suspect Bit by Murrieta Police Dog Before Surrendering

Located by infrared, Robert Witt, 37, was bitten by a police dog early Wednesday on a Mulligan Family Fun Center playground before surrendering, Murrieta police said.

A man wanted on a felony warrant allegedly hid from Murrieta police early Wednesday before he was captured through the use of infrared technology, police said.

Robert Witt, 37, was taken in custody at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when he was cornered at Mulligan Family Fun Center, 24950 Madison Ave., Murrieta police patrol Sgt. Jay Froboese said, in a news release.

The incident began at 12:38 a.m. when officers noticed a car parked "awkwardly" along a fence that separates the parking lots for Giant RV and Mulligan, Froboese said. At the time, officers were conducting business checks, the sergeant said.

"History on the car showed it was last stopped by MPD in September with a Robert Witt, 37 years old, driving it, Froboese said. "Witt had a outstanding felony evading warrant and an outstanding domestic violence warrant. Witt had been involved in foot pursuits with Murrieta officers in the past as well."

Officers set up perimeter of the Giant RV lot and used a K-9 unit but were unsuccessful in immediately locating Witt, the sergeant said.

The Police Department then requested assistance from a Riverside County sheriff's helicopter, which arrived at 1:15 a.m., he said.

Using heat-sensing infrared radar, the helicopter crew located a hot spot in the Giant RV parking lot—between a dumpster and a block wall—where Witt had most likely allegedly been hiding for a period of time, according to the sergeant.

The helicopter continued to search, moving south to Mulligan. Witt was located at 1:22 a.m. as he crawled along the fence line, Froboese said.

Officers began to zero in on Witt, who then allegedly jumped over a 6-foot-high fence into a playground on the Mulligan grounds, Froboese said.

"...An announcement was made to surrender or the K9 would be deployed," Froboese said. "...The suspect began making his way up onto playground equipment. The police dog engaged the suspect biting him in the right hand and groin area."

Witt then "quickly gave up" and surrendered to officers, Froboese said.

He was arrested on the felony warrant as well as on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

Witt was being held at Southwest Detention Center on $50,000 bail, sheriff's jail records indicated.

Ernie Florez November 21, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I commend the K-9 Great job and the police officers ,
Ed P. November 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Quick, somebody get the dog a hepatitis and tetanus shot!
censored messenger November 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Robert Witt you hilarious TWIT..,,,,,,,,,,,yer head got gnawed on? thanks for making me chuckle today....
H November 22, 2012 at 12:59 AM
good job Murrieta K-9 and our police dept.

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