The estranged wife of Sheriff Donny Youngblood may lose her ear, after her attorney says, she was mauled by a Bakersfield police dog. The attack happened Sunday inside her southwest Bakersfield home.
Attorney Daniel Rodriguez is preparing to file a lawsuit against the city, following the incident. 60-year-old Victoria Youngblood was home alone, sleeping in her bedroom when police officers went inside to serve a search warrant.
"She thinks in her dreams she sees a wolf, but no it's just a dream. All of a sudden she feels a weight on her and pressure, a clamping down on her head. She opens her eyes and it's a police dog on top of her, clamping down on her head," said Rodriguez.
Youngblood was rushed to Kern Medical Center. In a report from the emergency room, a doctor said "this patient has a mutilated right ear that is questionably salvageable." The doctor goes on to say Youngblood may lose some of her hearing.
"Her ear is hanging on by the skin and they re-attach it, but they don't know if they're going to be able to save the ear or not," said Rodriguez.
The search in Youngblood's home, stemmed from an earlier incident with her son, Aaron Youngblood. The 28-year-old was arrested after police searched his car. Officers say they found two handguns, drugs, and stolen property.
Rodriguez says Youngblood is familiar with law enforcement policies because she was a Sheriff's deputy for ten years. "She knows that sometimes police officers step over the line. They abuse the trust we put in them. She wants to make sure that something like this doesn't happen to anyone of us," explained Rodriguez.
This is the third police dog bite case Rodriguez has filed. One of those cases, was similar to Youngblood's case. The victim was sleeping in bed. In December 2007, Rodriguez sued the city after 14-year-old Miguel Perez was attacked by a police dog.
Perez was cut across his forehead, eyebrow, and near his right ear. Police were searching Perez's home for three men who robbed a nearby Fastrip. Rodriguez said the Perez family was awarded more than $100,000.
17 News reached out to the Bakersfield Police Department. A spokesperson told us to call the city attorney, who did not return our calls for comment. Our calls to Sheriff Donny Youngblood were not returned.