A Morro Bay man led police on a foot chase Tuesday night that ended with him injured in an Arroyo Grande creek bed and a CHP officer with a minor bite wound from a Sheriff’s K-9, according to police.
At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, members of the California Highway Patrol’s Auto Theft Task Force were conducting a sting operation on a parked stolen vehicle when 31-year-old Michael David Fordyce allegedly entered the car and began driving.
CHP officers pulled Fordyce over near Branch and Garden streets in Arroyo Grande, according to Officer Danny Maher, and he fled on foot into a nearby creek bed.
CHP officers were joined in the search for Fordyce by San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies and assisted by Arroyo Grande police, who set up a perimeter and controlled traffic, according to Arroyo Grande Cmdr. Kevin McBride. A CHP helicopter also assisted in the search, which lasted about 20 minutes. About 11 officers participated in the search.
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Fordyce was found hiding in nearby brush, suffering from injuries from a fall, Maher said. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known Wednesday morning, but Maher said Fordyce was transported to a nearby hospital. He was released and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, obstructing an officer, resisting an officer resulting in injury, and violation of probation.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla confirmed that an officer got too close to a sheriff’s K-9 that had cornered Fordyce, and suffered a “superficial” bite to the arm during the arrest.
Maher confirmed the victim of the dog bite was a CHP officer but said the wound was minor and did not require hospitalization.
Although the officer’s injury was caused by a police dog, the CHP is recommending Fordyce be charged because the injury was a result of his resisting arrest.
As of noon Wednesday, Fordyce remained in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail, according to jail records.