Emergency workers treat an attempted murder suspect after he was Tased, and bit by a police K-9. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

A Watsonville Police K-9 was stabbed Tuesday afternoon in a confrontation police had with an attempted murder suspect. 

Sgt. Jarrod Pisturino said the incident began when police got behind a white Honda Accord around 4pm on Rodriguez Street in downtown Watsonville. When the solo occupant pulled into a vacant lot on the 200 block of Rodriguez Street, he leapt from the car and took off on foot.

Watsonville Police K-9 Officer Cruze.
Watsonville Police K-9 Officer Cruze. Photo courtesy of Watsonville Police Department

That’s when police unleashed K-9 Cruze. As Cruze leapt on to 28-year-old Juan Marquez and bit him, Marquez pulled a knife from his waistband and stabbed Cruze, Michelle Pulido, spokeswoman for Watsonville Police, said. 

Seconds later, a swarm of police officers rushed in and Tased Marquez. 

Police were then able to take Marquez into custody.

Pisturino said Marquez was wanted on suspicion of stabbing a man Oct. 5 on Railroad Avenue in Pajaro.

Police believe the dog will recover.

Police also recovered the knife and the Honda and towed it from the scene. 

Watsonville Fire and paramedics were quick on the scene to treat the suspect before he was taken into custody.

Cruze was rushed to an emergency pet clinic while Marquez was treated for moderate injuries to his arm at the scene and later at the hospital. Both the suspect and Cruze are expected to make a full recovery, Pulido said. 

Marquez was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of injury to a police officer animal and resisting arrest.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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