Riverside County sheriff’s K-9, attacked by accused domestic-battery suspect, cleared to return to work

The Riverside County sheriff’s K-9 attacked over the weekend while trying to apprehend a domestic-battery suspect is returning to work.

“K9 Herbie sustained a laceration to his left ear, swelling to his right eye, (a) ruptured right blood vessel and swelling to his throat,” the Sheriff’s Department’s said in a statement. “Despite these injuries, we are happy to report that K9 Herbie has just been cleared to return to work.”

A Riverside County Sheriff’s K9 who was attacked by a domestic assault suspect has been cleared to return to work. (Courtesy Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

Deputies were called to to the 24300 block of Carman Lane in Moreno Valley at 1:25 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, for a report of a suspicious vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

There, they found Matthew Rubalcava, 22, and his pregnant girlfriend arguing inside the car.

When deputies opened the driver’s side door to let the woman out, Rubalcava, 22, jumped out of the passenger side, knocking down a deputy, officials said. He ran after the woman and tired to use her as a shield to prevent deputies from using firearms or stun guns.

After Deputy Kory Murphy and Herbie arrived, Rubalcava attacked, repeatedly punching Herbie and Murphy and attempted to use the dog’s leash to strangle the K-9, officials said.

The Moreno Valley man was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, resisting arrest, domestic battery and attempting to injure a police service dog.