Man who choked police dog facing charges

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MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man is facing charges for allegedly hiding in an attic from police and choking a police dog.

Grant County prosecutors charged Paul Gomez, 57, of Moses Lake, in Grant County Superior Court with escape of community custody and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

On Christmas Eve a Moses Lake police officer was on patrol approaching the intersection of Longview Drive and Miller Drive and reportedly spotted Gomez walking into his mother’s house in the 4300 block of Miller Drive, according to court documents. The officer knew Gomez from past contacts and suspected he had a Department of Corrections felony warrant out for his arrest. Gomez allegedly spotted the officer’s patrol vehicle and bolted into his mother’s house.

Due to previous contacts, the officer knew of at least two other people who have violent pasts and were possibly inside the Miller Drive residence. Backup was requested and arrived at the location, including Grant County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Deputy Chicka, and the house was surrounded.

Gomez’s brother was at the residence and claimed he hadn’t seen his brother. The brother would not let officers inside of the house to search for Gomez, but Gomez’s mother later gave police permission to enter the house and search for her son.

Officers and Chicka entered the residence and didn’t initially locate Gomez, but they later determined he was hiding in the attic. Gomez was informed if he didn’t leave the attic Chicka would be sent in and “she would bite him if she was used.” Gomez refused to come out for police, his mother and his sister and Chicka was sent into the space. At some point Gomez allegedly choked the dog and he received several lacerations to his head and right ear and was transported to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake for treatment.

“Paul apologized for hiding and told me he knew he had a warrant from (the) DOC (Department of Corrections). Paul told me that he never heard us yell into the attic. Paul also said he had believed we had left and he was about to exit the attic when Chicka was sent in the attic,” wrote an officer.

Police records indicate that officers informed Gomez several times that Chicka would be used and he would be bit if she found him.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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