A woman who might have faced only a charge of public intoxication now is behind bars facing a felony charge after reportedly biting a Sonora police officer.
Tellena Hogland, a 35-year-old Sonora transient, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail for on suspicion of felony battery on a peace officer, resisting arrest, public intoxication and suspicion of being under the influence of drugs.
The bitten officer required no stitches but has received precautionary immunization and will receive some follow-up testing to ensure no communicable diseases were transmitted by the bite, said Sonora Police Department spokesman Lt. Turu VanderWiel.
The incident began Friday about 5 p.m. when police responded to a report of an intoxicated woman behind the O’Reilly Auto Parts store on Mono Way.
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Hogland was noncompliant with the responding officer, who decided to detain her to evaluate her level of intoxication, police said. When the officer tried to lead her to level ground, she tried to pull away and had to be handcuffed.
The officer decided to arrest Hogland, and a second officer arrived to assist. As they were putting her into a patrol car, she twisted herself into a position in which she was able to bite one officer’s arm. She refused to unclamp her teeth and the officer had to use physical force – an open-palm strike – to break free, VanderWiel said.
The officer, whose name has not been released, suffered broken skin and significant bruising from the bite. Hogland was not injured during the altercation, police said.
Bail was set at $10,000 for Hogland, who also faces charges of violating felony probation out of Tuolumne County.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327