By David M. Greenwald
Brentwood, CA – Attorney Adante Pointer announced last week that his office has filed a lawsuit on behalf of then 24-year-old Talmika Bates after a February 10, 2020, incident in which she was mauled by a police dog by Brentwood Police Officer Ryan Rezentes and his Czech Republic trained German Shepherd named “Marco.”
According to the complaint, on the afternoon of the day in question police were called after it was reported that three young women had shoplifted several cosmetic products from a cosmetic store.
Brentwood Police responded to the reported theft and searched the surrounding neighborhood for the women. Police located one of the women hiding in a field behind a set of bushes.
It was at this point that, the complaint alleges, “In violation of his training and the law, Officer Ryan Rezentes inexplicably sicced ‘Marco’ on the unsuspecting and unarmed young lady without providing any warning or a reasonable opportunity to surrender.”
The dog ran over to the woman, biting her. Allegedly, the officer permitted the dog “to bite and gnaw on Ms. Bates’ scalp and skull for an extended period of time, despite Ms. Bates’ frantic pleas for him to call the dog off.”
The complaint continues: “The German Sheppard [sic], perhaps overcome with a sense of blood lust, ignored his handler’s commands and continued to bite and gnaw at Ms. Bates’ head until it ripped her scalp into shreds. Officer Rezentes had to physically remove the dog from Ms. Bates’ head.”
The complaint charges, “Despite, Ms. Bates being in obvious pain and medical distress, Officers mercilessly demanded Ms. Bates stand up and walk out of the brush before they would offer any assistance. When Ms. Bates emerged from the bushes, the top of her head was bloody and mangled with large chunks of her scalp missing.”
In the complaint, “The report conspicuously fails to mention the fact that he permitted Marco to needlessly maul Ms. Bates or that he lost control of Marco as Marco attacked and seriously injured Ms. Bates. This violent, uncontrollable animal is still being deployed by the Brentwood Police Department.
“This unbridled use of an apparent blood thirsty dog to track, hunt and then attack an unarmed fleeing woman as she lay in a set of bushes harkens back to the days of slavery and slave catchers,” the complaint continues.
The complaint alleges further, “Officer Rezentes ignored Ms. Bates’ chilling screams as he stood by and watched his canine viciously maul the young victim. Finally, the Officer began commanding the canine to ‘heel’ in German. The dog ignored the commands while Ms. Bates continued to scream and beg for her life as the dog continued its attack. Nearly one minute later, Officer Rezentes once again commanded his dog to heel—yet again, the dog ignored his handler’s commands. Ms. Bates continued to cry out for her mother while pleading with the Officers to make the dog stop.”
The complaint further notes, “Officer Rezentes eventually came to the obvious conclusion that he had lost control of his attack animal and inexplicably yelled at Ms. Bates to ‘do something!’ The Officer finally went into the bushes and physically removed the dog’s bite from Ms. Bates’ scalp. After over a minute of being attacked by the rogue animal, Ms. Bates was left laying [sic] on the ground mangled and paralyzed with fear.”
The complaint notes, “In his report, Officer Rezentes claims that he did not have the benefit of a cover officer which prevented him from physically removing the dog from gnawing on Ms. Bates’ head.”
However, Brentwood Police Officer Lou’s body worn camera shows “this is patently false.” The complaint alleges that the video “clearly showed that (Lou) was standing next to Officer Rezentes with his gun drawn while reassuring Officer Rezentes, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t shoot your dog.’”
Officer Rezentes also failed to report that he made “multiple failed attempts to get his canine to release its potentially deadly grip. Officer Rezentes failed to mention that Marco was out of control.”
Following this event, Bates was transported to John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek, for emergency medical care. Surgeons succeeded in reattaching her scalp, but Bates reportedly “continues to suffer from headaches, memory loss and depression as a result of the horrific experience.”
The complaint notes, “Despite the outrageous nature of this grotesque use of excessive force, Officer Rezentes still patrols the Brentwood community with Marco.”
(The complaints contains numerous photos of Bates, but due to their graphic nature, the Vanguard is not publishing them. Attached is the complaint – viewer discretion is advised).