Accused shoplifter claims racism in lawsuit after police dog rips her scalp off in bloody arrest

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(Video Credit: KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco)

A young California shoplifter named Talmika Bates had her scalp horrifically and bloodily ripped off exposing bone and tissue in 2020 by a Brentwood police dog after she allegedly stole thousands of dollars of merchandise from a nearby mall, fled the police, and then hid in some bushes.

KTVU obtained grisly video and pictures showing the results of the savage attack by the German Shepherd.

Bates, 24, is shown in the video provided by her attorneys screaming in agony and pain after the dog got a hold of her.

“Help me! The dog is biting me,” she screamed. “My whole brain is bleeding!”

“We’re going to help you… but you shouldn’t run from the police,” an officer bluntly responded.

“I really thought I was going to die,” she told KTVU on Wednesday. “I really didn’t think that I was going to be able to tell this story and really explain to nobody. It’s just traumatizing. It’s just sad.”

She claims that as soon as doctors sewed her scalp back on at John Muir hospital in Walnut Creek she was transported to jail. Bates said her hair still doesn’t grow back right around the wounds.

“I feel ugly,” she tearfully remarked. “I get miserable, I get depressed. I’m not happy with myself. I don’t even feel cute.” She notably has one eye that no longer seems to work quite right as well.

Adante Pointer and Patrick Buelna, Bates’ civil rights attorneys, filed a federal lawsuit late Tuesday night accusing the city and police department of causing her severe injury due to police negligence and violation of policy.

“This unbridled use of an apparent blood-thirsty dog to track, hunt, and then attack an unarmed fleeing woman as she lay in a set of bushes harkens back to the days of slavery and slave catchers,” Pointer disingenuously charged in the suit.

Pointer commented to KTVU that he was outraged that police would send an “attack dog” to harm such a “low-level offender” and then “sit casually back” and watch her suffer in pain.

“It is just so callous,” Pointer asserted. “They obviously didn’t see this person as a human.”

Officer Ryan Rezentes and his German Shepherd “Marco” are still on the job, according to the city’s website.

Bates allegedly shoplifted several thousand dollars worth of cosmetic products including Chanel perfume on Feb. 10. Brentwood police said on Facebook that the dollar amount was approximately $10,000. Bates was busted with two other women and a getaway driver.

The lawsuit contends that Rezentes sicced Marco on Bates without any warning or a reasonable opportunity to surrender.

Bates’ attorneys are claiming that Rezentes began commanding the dog “heel” in German. But Marco ignored the commands while Bates screamed and begged for her life. Rezentes commanded his dog to heel again and Marco allegedly ignored it a second time. Eventually, the officer had to go in and remove Marco himself, according to charges by Bates.

She was commanded to exit the bushes by the police while crying for medical attention and her mother. The suit contends that Bates was left on the ground, “mangled and paralyzed with fear.”

The suit also charges that police berated Bates for running from them “as if getting her head bit and mauled by a vicious canine was a lawful and appropriate punishment for her crimes.”

Bates pleaded guilty to felony grand theft. Court records show she spent 120 days in jail and is on probation for a year.


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