Two Merced police officers were injured early Sunday morning after a struggle with three men in the downtown area on West 18th Street, between K and Canal streets.
The officers who were hurt in the struggle, Sgt. Curt Gorman and Officer Brian Rinder, are expected to recover from their injuries, according to Capt. Tom Trindad.
Details about the case are preliminary. The incident was reported around 12:30 a.m. in the 400 block of West 18th Street.
Trindad said Officer Rinder was on patrol and heard yelling in the area. The officer saw Cody Griess, 23, and Michael Stucky, 24, involved in a fight. Also at the scene was Nathan Schindler, 24.
The officer went to the scene and was able to break up the fight. Additional units arrived to help the officer. Officer Rinder noticed during the incident that one of the men had blood coming from his ear, according to Trindad.
Officer Rinder was speaking with Schindler and Stucky, when Griess allegedly tried to intervene. Griess was taken down to the ground by police, and Sgt. Gorman had stepped in to assist with the arrest. Schindler then allegedly approached Sgt. Gorman, and kicked and punched him in the face and head, Trindad said.
Officer Rinder deployed his police dog Rex to help gain control over the situation, and the dog was also punched during the struggle.
Police eventually took the three men into custody. Trindad said it’s unknown why the two men were fighting. “There was heavy drinking involved, apparently,” Trindad said.
After the three suspects were treated for minor injuries, they were booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault on police officers and other charges.
Sgt. Gorman was treated at Mercy Medical Center Merced for facial lacerations and contusions, while Officer Rinder received minor injuries. The police dog, Rex, appeared to be unhurt, Trindad said.