Suspect’s dog shot after charging deputy

Posted on April 6, 2018 by

UPDATE: According to CARE Santa Rosa, a local nonprofit animal rescue organization which is providing veterinary care for the dog featured in this story, Creed is a pit bull mix and weighs roughly 60 pounds. The arresting officer in the arrest report had described Creed as a pit bull and estimated the dog’s weight at 120 pounds. We have edited the story below to reflect this information — except for inside the officer’s direct quote. CARE representatives told South Santa Rosa News on Saturday that Creed was struck in the head and chest but is recovering from surgery and facing an additional one on Monday.  If you would like to make a contribution to CARE visit

A wanted fugitive was arrested after being tased for failing to follow orders and allegedly allowing his pit bull (mix) to charge a cop, who shot at the animal four times before the dog ran off.

The incident took place after a deputy was dispatched April 4 to the area of Quail Run Road in reference to a white male who had taken a swing at a child on a bicycle.

Upon arriving on scene the officer immediately recognized the suspect as William Tatum, and the deputy was aware there were two active warrants for Tatum’s arrest.

However, after advising Tatum to “get down on the ground” because of the warrants, the suspect continued to walk toward the officer, allowing a roughly (60-pound pit bull mix) to lead the way. 

Tatum continued to disregard orders, so the officer aimed a taser at his chest. When Tatum continued walking toward the deputy, he received an eight second burst from the taser.

 According to the arrest report, Tatum’s body went rigid, and he fell into a shallow drainage adjacent to the road. 

The officer said Tatum then yelled and let go of the dog which immediately charged toward the deputy in an attempt to bite.  

“I pulled out my service weapon and fired four shots at the charging pit bull.  The pit bull veered off and ran east into the woods where his whereabouts is unknown,” stated the deputy.

The officer then made contact with the original complainant who said that while riding past Tatum and his dog, the suspect took a swing at him and mumbled some words.  The victim said he afraid and went home to tell his dad what happened.

Tatum was charged with simple assault and resisting arrest without violence.

He was transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail, and during the booking process an officer searching Tatum’s right front pocket discovered a white cylinder-type object which contained a white crystal substance which tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

So Tatum was given an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

He also faces previous charges of failure to appear and property damage/criminal mischief after a neighbor back in November 2017 reported she observed him tampering with her cable connection box. Per her Internet provider, AT&T, cost to repair damages totaled $176.