Man punches cop, wrestles and attempts to choke dog

A HERVEY Bay man has been jailed after he bit, punched, and gouged at the eyes of a police dog during a foot chase, but he claims he has no memory of the entire incident.

Hayden Lee Henderson pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to two counts of serious assault on a police officer, obstructing police and four counts of breaching bail conditions.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Wayne Bushell said police had stopped Henderson and two other people in Urangan just before 8.30pm on Saturday when Henderson fled.

Police gave chase and the dog squad was called in, including belgian malinois Arkie and his handler, Senior Constable Brendon Dellow.

Sgt Bushell said the pair chased Henderson to the Esplanade in Urangan when Henderson threw a "haymaker" punch at Snr Const Dellow who was able to dodge it.

Arkie stepped in to protect his master, latching on to Henderson's hamstring.

"He made attempts to choke the dog," Sgt Bushell said. "He also bit the head of the police dog."

Sgt Bushell said during the struggle Henderson also punched Arkie and gouged at his eyes.

The struggle left Arkie with minor injuries while Henderson was hospitalised until yesterday.

Sgt Bushell said Arkie was an essential tool for police to use in crime fighting and Henderson could have caused him serious damage.

Defence lawyer Justin Geldard said Henderson had slipped on some rocks during the chase and hit his head. He said that injury meant he had no recollection of the incident.

"He doesn't recall wrestling or fighting with the dog," he said.

Mr Geldard said Henderson went into "fight of flight" mode when the dog latched on to his leg and was merely trying to get Arkie to dislodge from his hamstring.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell sentenced Henderson to six months prison with parole release on June 9.



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