One officer was bitten in the hand by a dog while chasing a man who fled a city-owned property Thursday, police said.
The man then fled into a residence occupied by six people he didn’t know, including four children.
The incident began just after 11 a.m. when city code enforcement officers and police investigated a complaint of a squatter at 208 Duane Ave. As officers entered, a man later identified as Rashawn A. Melton fled out the back with his two pit bulls following, police said.
Sgt. Jeffrey McCutcheon and Officer Brian Whipple pursued Melton onto Craig Street, then east on Strong Street, police said. During the pursuit, the two pit bulls turned on Whipple, one biting him in the hand. Whipple also injured his arm during the chase and was treated at the scene and then at Ellis Hospital.
The dogs, named Sweets and Nellie, were seized by animal control.
According to police, Melton eventually ducked into a house on Strong Street and did not know the people inside. He was taken into custody soon after, however.
Melton was charged with second-degree assault, a felony; four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child; and single misdemeanor counts of obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and criminal trespass.
The criminal trespass relates to the allegations he entered the occupied home, while the endangering counts relate to the children inside the residence.
He also faces charges related to the dogs.