Man Claims Davis Police Officer Allowed Canine to Attack Him

Injuries still visible a couple of years later

During the course of the Vanguard’s investigation into the three officers involved in the Picnic Day incident last year, the Vanguard uncovered a number of complaints against Officer Ryan Bellamy, who, according to police records, is no longer a Davis police officer.

A few years ago two young men had decided to steal a truck.  The truck was located across the street from the DMV, but one young man, who asked not be identified, started to get a bad feeling and attempted to leave the scene.

It was at this point he saw a police officer with a canine.  The officer released the dog and the dog chased him down.  The young man said that he made it about 200 feet before the dog caught him and grabbed him by the leg.

Two other cops came with a cop car, but, instead of having the dog release the man, the cops yelled to stop resisting as he lay on the ground with two cops punching him.

The dog proceeded to rip up his leg.

He was able to identify two of the officers as Derrick Russell and Ryan Bellamy.  It was unclear who held the dog.

At this point they finally subdued the dog, but the young man was lying on the street, bleeding out from his wound.  Instead of getting him medical attention immediately, they made him walk an additional 20 feet to the police vehicle.

As he moved, they claimed he was trying to attack him, so they once again slammed him against the car.

When he finally got medical attention, the leg wound required 37 stitches.

The young man told the Vanguard that he ended up doing two years and nine days on this.  This was despite the fact that his public defender believes his friend was used by the police as a lure to encourage him to attempt to steal the truck and allow the police to “bush” him.  But they could never prove it and instead he took a plea agreement.

This was not the young man’s first encounter with Ryan Bellamy either.  He told the Vanguard that in 2011 Officer Bellamy, then working for YONET, stripped him of his clothes and threatened to “beat the f*** out of him if you don’t tell me where the drugs are.”

The incident stopped when another officer intervened, telling Officer Bellamy, “He’s just a kid, he doesn’t know nothing.”

These are just the latest in a series of complaints against Officer Ryan Bellamy.  Last November, the Vanguard published video of Ryan Bellamy and Officer Justin Raymond punching Eduardo Letelier at his home during the serving of a search warrant.

Eduardo Letelier, then 43 years old, was arrested and accused of child molestation of a four-year-old girl in a high profile case involving a Davis daycare center.  He was also charged with resisting arrest.

Mr. Letelier was acquitted of the charge of resisting, while the jury ended up hanging 9-3 on the main charge in favor of innocence, and the DA last summer allowed Mr. Letelier to plead to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge that does not require registration, rather than retry him.

The video shows Officer Bellamy calling out to Eduardo, whom he knew because officers had raided the Letelier home once before, two years ago, as they ransacked the place in a failed attempt to located stolen property.  This time Officer Bellamy yells out “Donde Eduardo?” and then you hear, “He’s running!”

But by the time the officer reaches the back gate, you appear to see Mr. Letelier simply standing there with his hands in the air.  Officer Bellamy runs up to him and punches him in the face, knocking the man to the ground.

At this point, joined by several other officers including Justin Raymond, they attempt to put handcuffs on him.  Off camera, Officer Raymond then punches Mr. Letelier in the head, who is on his stomach with several officers on top of him.

At one point an officer is heard saying, “Stop resisting!”

Mr. Letelier yells, “I’m not!”

Eventually, Mr. Letelier had his hands secured in the handcuffs and eventually had to be taken to the hospital due to his injuries.  The booking photos showed abrasions and bruises on both sides of his face.

It has now been a year since the Picnic Day incident in which Ryan Bellamy and his brother Sean, along with Sgt. Steve Ramos, used an unmarked vehicle in an effort to do crowd control.

The Interim Auditor Mike Gennaco faulted the officers involved for their aggressive approach, use of profanity and failure to properly identify themselves.

The interim auditor wrote that “while it is fair to say that the aggressive response of some members of the crowd towards the van occupants was also problematic – and formed the basis for subsequent criminal charges – a more thoughtful approach by the involved officers in addressing the blockage of the roadway would likely have limited (or) averted the resulting clash.”

He added, saying “the poorly devised strategy only served to antagonize. It caused a hostile initial reaction by some crowd members that was both unfortunate and unsurprising: instead of officers, the van’s occupants were as or more likely to be perceived as obnoxious civilians interrupting a festive event without justification. The use of profanity by one of the involved officers would only have escalated this impression and response.”

The city is moving to implement a new police oversight system where the Independent Police Auditor is joined by a Davis Police Accountability Board.  The council gave city staff the go ahead to return to them with more concrete proposals in the coming months.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Corrections: Original story inaccurately stated that Ryan Bellamy remains a Davis police officer.

Video Shows Police Officers Punch Accused Man in Davis Multiple Times

Police Hammered by Interim Auditor over Handling of Picnic Day

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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27 thoughts on “Man Claims Davis Police Officer Allowed Canine to Attack Him”

  1. Ken A

    I’m no “cop defender” and unless there is a high likelihood that someone is going to kill others (like a guy that yells to the cops “after shooting all these kids at NDE I’m heading over to DHS to shoot more”) the cops should not shoot anyone or send a dog after anyone (the guy breaking into cars in Sac or stealing cars in Davis are never criminal masterminds and we will almost always catch them later).

    I’m wondering if David believes that “his friend was used by the police as a lure to encourage him to attempt to steal the truck and allow the police to bush him” (and also if he knows if “bush” is car thief slang for “ambush”)…

      1. Howard P

        Last I heard, “plausibility” is not a legal standard for conviction (for criminal cases)… might be wrong…

        “Plausibility” also often fails in civil matters, as I understand it…

        1. Howard P

          Yet, do you doubt that some here would like it to be a criminal matter against the officer, or a civil lawsuit against the officer, and/or the city?

          Please be real… you made efforts to raise this… just “education”/”reporting”?  Guess I can believe that, but it is a bit of a ‘stretch’ to believe that…

          As “news”, it is a tad ‘stale’…

          But, if true accounts, it would be reprehensible…

          And, if true, why has not the victim pursued it via the legal system? And not just from the ‘defense table’…

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            It can’t be a criminal matter or a civil lawsuit, the statute for it has long since passed

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Because the issue of the officer(s) involved in this is relevant even though the incident occurred a few years ago.

  2. Jeff M

    Keep it up [edited] and you will develop the groundswell of support for ending picnic day.

    We will not allow your continued exploitation of what is a tremendous challenge for local police to maintain order to advance your anti-law enforcement crusade.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Who is “we”? I didn’t see much in the way of pushback against the Picnic Day report or the recommendations for Police Oversight?

      1. Jeff M

        The “we” word was redacted by the moderator.  Apparently it is word that has been added to the political-correctness speech code book as restricted.

        1. Howard P

          Wrong.  “We” was not redacted… another word(s) was/were… unless someone was being grammatically incorrect…

          “Keep it up [edited] and you will develop the groundswell of support for ending picnic day.”

  3. Liz Kelly

    I’m really disappointed in this piece. I know Ryan Bellamy and his family – he recently had a new son with his beautiful wife. This is an absolute smear piece. Can’t agree with you when I know the man. You got no information from him and this article is extremely one sided. Why are there NO interviews with the people who know him and/or with HIM? And if he’s no longer at the Davis Police Department plus this was over a year and a half ago, why are we still discussing/writing about it? My God, let him and his family be left alone. They went through enough without people who refused to be named saying Ryan did something in 2011 (?!). 7 years ago, let’s move on.

    1. Craig Ross

      Wondering what difference does it make that you know him?  This wasn’t exactly the only incident involving him.  I have some buddies who were roughed up by him a few times over the years too.  Have you watched the video of him punching the guy in the face?  I’m sure he’s a nice guy when he’s not wearing a badge and he has a beautiful wife and baby, but that doesn’t excuse what we have seen on the videos.

      1. Liz Kelly

        I have seen him in uniform as many of us have and interestingly enough, he’s never gone after any of us. He’s made sure drunk people get rides home, he’s made welfare checks on people who thanked him, he’s an extremely kind man. This crap with the Picnic Day 11 (or whatever, it’s not like they were the Chicago Seven). These people were in a mob with two police officers trying to disperse it. What the hell were they supposed to do? And why DID you friends supposedly get “roughed up” by Bellamy? What were they doing wrong? A police officer usually doesn’t just attack people. Did they file a lawsuit? It’s free to complain to the Davis PD. I just found this article so one sided and ridiculous. At least make the article fair is my point.

        1. Alan Miller

          I tell the story of a very nice and helpful officer at the Whole Earth Festival nonviolent conflict resolution workshops for the Choas Control each year.  The details are not important, but after telling the story, I let everyone know his name:  Pike.

          There are very nice men in society who just, once in a great while, beat the sh*t out of their wives.

          Cops must be judged similar to spouses.  It’s what you do under stress and have the potential to lose control that defines how good you are as a cop or spouse.

      2. Craig Ross

        I’m sorry but you’re defending actions that are indefensible.  I’m sure he’s not going to walk up to someone and punch them in the face right in front of you and yet if you watch the video from the previous article, that’s what he did.  The Vanguard previous reported that they raided a house, threw a 12 year old girl around, traumatizing her, and that family was innocent.  And the guy he punched in the face, was acquitted as well.

    2. Howard P

      Perhaps it’s a “guy thing”… never knew a woman who picked at scabs… they seem to know it prevents healing, and can cause permanent scars… guys tend to pick at them, watch it bleed again, and don’t care about scars…

      David has made it clear (?) that this is not about the officer, the incident (statute of limitations?)… appears it is more about prevention/prophyllactic (sp?) or the “instititution” … yet an individual seems to need to be “called out” to make that point… a “guy thing?”

  4. Alan Miller

    >A few years ago two young men had decided to steal a truck . . . one young man . . . started to get a bad feeling and attempted to leave the scene.

    Perhaps he should have got a bad feeling when they decided to steal a truck.

    1. Ken A

      It sounds like these guys were not “Gone in 60 seconds style” pro truck thieves so I’m guessing that:

      “started to get a bad feeling and attempted to leave the scene”

      means

      “they saw the cops when trying to start the truck they just broke in and made a run for it”

      (and forgot that while a young white guy on meth can outrun most cops they still are not fast enough to outrun a police dog)…

      1. Liz Kelly

        I have seen him in uniform as many of us have and interestingly enough, he’s never gone after any of us. He’s made sure drunk people get rides home, he’s made welfare checks on people who thanked him, he’s an extremely kind man. This crap with the Picnic Day 11 (or whatever, it’s not like they were the Chicago Seven). These people were in a mob with two police officers trying to disperse it. What the hell were they supposed to do? And why DID you friends supposedly get “roughed up” by Bellamy? What were they doing wrong? A police officer usually doesn’t just attack people. Did they file a lawsuit? It’s free to complain to the Davis PD. I just found this article so one sided and ridiculous. At least make the article fair is my point.

    2. Howard P

      Alan… Dad taught me, “measure twice, cut once”… there is much wisdom to the concept of “think twice, don’t do a stupid”… it is clear the ‘victim’ intended to be a part of “doing a stupid”… there were more than one “stupids” in the account presented, to be sure…

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