California woman sues Bay Area police for alleged use of excessive force after part of her scalp was ripped off by a K-9 that tormented her “for minutes” until an officer had to physically remove his jaw from her head , after the robbery of the beauty salon Ulta.
According to the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Talmika Bates, 26, alleges she was injured by a German shepherd named Marco after she stalked and gnawed her scalp during an arrest for shoplifting on Feb. 10, 2020.
According to reports, Brentwood police officer Ryan Rezentes had to pull a police dog away from Bates’ head after it disobeyed commands at least twice.
The horrific moment was recorded by officers’ body-worn cameras and released by Bates’ lawyers. The footage shows Bates hiding in a field among the bushes before the police respond to her scream after they released a K-9 to find her.
After finding her and biting her on the head, Marco finally lets go and the officers help Bates out of the bushes. Her skull was partly red, as parts of it were no longer scalped, and her hair had also been torn off.
“My whole brain is bleeding,” a shocked Bates says in a graphic video.
Bates, 24 at the time of the incident, was on the run after she and two other women stole about $10,000 worth of beauty products from Ulta Beauty Supply. The suspects fled the scene in a car and ran out of the car after police pursued and tried to stop them.
The lawsuit says that Rezentes and other officers involved in the incident are responsible for not alerting Bates that a K-9 was launched to find her in the bush.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
WARNING GRAPHIC: Marco, K-9, who tore the scalp of Talmika Bates (pictured), tormented her “for a few minutes” after he was let down by Brentwood police.
WARNING GRAPHICS: Security camera footage shows Talmiki Bates (left and right) being scalped by a police dog after she hid in the bushes trying to avoid being discovered by police who wanted to arrest her for shoplifting.
WARNING GRAPH: Bates said she needed reattachment surgery after the K9 incident.
Brentwood Police Officer Ryan Resentes is pictured with Marco, a German Shepherd who reportedly refused to listen to commands at least twice before Resentes removed him from the victim.
Patrick Buelna, one of two lawyers for Bates along with Adante Pointiner, told the New York Post that the police only responded to her client’s cries for help and medical attention by saying that she “shouldn’t have run.”
“Talmika says she still has nightmares of the dog rubbing and chewing on her head,” Buelna said.
“She says she felt like she was going to die that day and didn’t really believe she would live to tell her story, but she is alive and grateful. She had to surgically reattach the scalp to her head. She suffers from severe depression and is still traumatized.”
“Officers Rezentes and Lou yelled at Ms Bates to get up, which was an impossible task as leaves and branches scraped open wounds on her head,” the court document says.
Eventually Officer Lu helped Ms. Bates to her feet and handcuffed her. The officers scolded Ms. Bates for running away from the police, as if being bitten on the head and mauled by a vicious dog was a legitimate and appropriate punishment for her crimes.”
Bates’ defense also accused Rezentes of covering up the details of the incident after he wrote in a police report that no reinforcements had arrived, which Resentes said led him to consider whether to physically remove the dog from Bates.
Lawyers say the footage shows another officer assuring Rezentes that he will not shoot the dog while it gnaws on Bates’ scalp.
“Officer Rezentes did not mention that Marco was out of control,” the lawsuit says.
Bates said she was traumatized by the incident and that she often suffers from headaches, anxiety, and often recalls the moment the dog rubbed her head in her sleep.
Bates, along with civil rights attorney Adante Pointiner, said the police officers’ only response to her client’s cries for help and medical attention was that she “shouldn’t have run.”
After her arrest, Bates was taken to a local hospital, where surgeons stitched her scalp up.
Bates says that since the incident two years ago, she often suffers from headaches, anxiety and often recalls the moment when the dog rubbed her head in her sleep.
“My whole brain almost fell out,” Bates told KTVU. “I should be dead right now, not alive, and I’m just grateful.
“I feel ugly,” she added. “I become unhappy, I get depressed. I’m not happy with myself. I don’t even feel cute.”
Bates pleaded guilty to grand theft last year and spent 120 days in jail, court records show. She is on probation for a year. According to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, her restitution amount has not yet been changed.
Meanwhile, Marco, the German Shepherd still featured on the Brentwood Police Department’s K-9 unit page, is described as smart, very outgoing, and “wouldn’t want you to say hi if you see him walking with Officer Rezentes.”
The Brentwood Police Department has not yet responded to ‘s request for comment.
Prior to her arrest, Bates stole approximately $10,000 worth of beauty products from Ulta Beauty Salon (pictured).
Stolen beauty products were found in the victim’s car after she was apprehended
In 2020, Bates, along with two other women, stole beauty products from a local Ulta store in Brentwood, California.