Car burglar accused of biting, slashing man who confronted him in Whittier

WHITTIER — A Los Angeles gang member bit and stabbed a man who caught him in the midst of an alleged car burglary late Wednesday before ultimately being arrested with the help of police dog, officials said.
Stephen Rojas, 24, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, Whittier police Sgt. Jim De Masi said.
The victim was at home about 9:35 p.m. in the 10800 block of Illinois herd someone rummaging through his car, De Masi said in a written statement. The resident went outside to see a burglar pocketing items from the car.
“The victim confronted the suspect and a fight ensued during which the suspect bit the victim,” De Masi said. “As the fight continued, the victim was also slashed with a sharp object.”
The victim suffered injuries to his hand, he said.
The robber fled as witnesses called the police, the sergeant said. Officers arrived within moments and surrounded the neighborhood, trapping the suspect inside their search perimeter.
With the help of a police dog, officers found Rojas hiding in a nearby residential garage, officials said. The man refused orders to surrender and the police dog was sent in after him. He was taken into custody after suffering a superficial dog bite wound to his leg.
Officials took the suspect for medical treatment before booking him on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, De Masi said.
He was identified as a Los Angeles gang member, he added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Rojas, who was on probation after being released from jail in June following a previous conviction, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance.

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