BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Wofford Heights man is facing charges of mayhem and assaulting an officer for allegedly releasing a pit bull that attacked U.S. Forest Service officers.

The dog bit one officer in the face and another in the left thigh, causing “crushing injuries,” according to a probable cause declaration.

James Paul Monegan, 37, fought with officers but was eventually taken into custody and is being held on $225,000 bail, according to the declaration and inmate records. He has pleaded not guilty to eight felonies and three misdemeanors and is due back in court March 10.

According to the declaration, officers on Dec. 9 followed Monegan as he drove a white Ford Explorer with a trailer missing a right tire in Sequoia National Forest. They ordered him to pull over and he started to comply then led them on a chase through Kernville to a house on Lakeview Terrace in Wofford Heights, the document says.

Monegan left the pickup “dragging a pit bull” and ignored orders, according to the declaration. An officer pepper-sprayed Monegan and he released the dog, which bit an officer on the thigh.

Monegan ran to the house as officers gave chase. The pit bull bit the second officer on the face as he tried to grab Monegan, according to the declaration.

It’s unclear from the declaration how the officers dealt with the animal, but they entered the house and took Monegan into custody, the document says. Monegan was convicted in 2021 of misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest charges, court records show.