Avondale police officer picks up K9 to charge suspect

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Rafael Gutierrez, 27 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Rafael Gutierrez, 27 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Avondale police are taking some heat after an unusual arrest was caught on tape and then posted to Facebook.

At one point, an officer picks up a K9 officer and charges the suspect, which is causing some backlash.

Avondale police say officers responded to a shoplifting call near 111th Avenue and Buckeye Road Wednesday morning just before 10 a.m.

In the video, you see the suspect, 27 year-old Rafael Gutierrez, resist arrest, and the K9 doesn’t engage. But it gets really interesting when the officer actually picks up the K9 and tries to and put him on the suspect.

[MUG SHOT: Rafael Gutierrez]

We asked a retired officer who is an expert in “use of force” and he doesn’t want to be identified, but says this was not handled correctly.

“It’s bizarre. Actually, I've never seen that in a live event,” says the expert. “I have seen that in training on occasion when you're dealing with a problematic dog.”

The retired officer says this comes down to a training issue and that the dog is not doing what it’s been trained to do.

“The dog is probably causing more harm than good at this point, and I think the proper thing would have done to get the dog out of there,” says expert.

Avondale police say Gutierrez assaulted the officer and his K9 before this video began, so we don't see the whole encounter.

As more police officers show up, it turns into a brawl, where Gutierrez was finally arrested.

He was booked into the 4th Avenue jail but has since posted bail.

Gutierrez faces 5 counts of aggravated assault against an officer, and one count each of shoplifting, resisting arrest, possession/use of drug paraphernalia, and harming a service animal.

He's due back in court May 31.

To read PDF of the police report, click HERE.

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