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Jeanne Schinto 8:30 a.m., May 19
Corondao Bridge January 1, 6:30 p.m. Oceanside Police, Calif. Highway Patrol, Harbor Police 32.686634, -117.158952
The killing of a police dog can be treated by prosecutors with the same severity as if a human officer were murdered in the line of duty. This is what Vista resident Cory Byron, 27, faces in court – the willful homicide of K-9 officer Stryker, a Belgian shepherd who patrolled in the Oceanside Police Department with partner Officer Kedrick Sadler.
Sadler witnessed Byron’s involvement in a minor traffic accident on College Boulevard. Byron did not stop and drove west on state Route 76 and then south on Interstate 5, with Sadler and CHP officers in hot pursuit.
The chase was on, lasting nearly an hour. Byron exited at the Corondao Bridge. He stopped his GMC pick-up truck near the highest point and got out.
Sadler sent Officer Stryker after the driver. Stryker bit Byron in the arm and pulled him to the ground. Byron seized the dog and jumped over the concrete barrier, straight into into San Diego Bay.
Byron was rescued by the Harbor Police and treated at UCSD Hospital with a collapsed lung. Stryker did not survive the watery plunge.
Along with Stryker’s slaying, Byron is being charged with felony evasion and driving under the influence.