Dog bites officer who was enforcing downtown camping law

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland police officer working to enforce an anti-camping law in downtown Portland was bitten by a dog.

The officer, Robin Dunbar, was walking around Terry Schrunk Plaza on Friday morning talking to campers and waking people who were in violation of the city's sidewalk camping ordinance, according to police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

As Dunbar stopped to take a picture of a campsite, a man's dog lunged at her and bit her on the left arm.

"I extended my arm to take a photo of him and the dog just lunged over both of them and came at me (and) attached to my arm," she said.

That's when police said the dog's owner, Daniel Thompson, grabbed the animal and started yelling at the officer, Simpson said.

The officer had a bruise on her arm, but the dog did not break the skin.

While waiting for animal control officers to arrive, Simpson said Thompson continued to yell at the officers. At one point, the dog got loose again and bit Thompson.

A sergeant then got the dog under control but Thompson continued to struggle with officers, Simpson said.

The officers eventually arrested him on charges of interfering with an officer and resisting arrest. He was also cited for not controlling his dog and violating the camping ordinance.

The dog managed to tear Thompson's skin during the incident.

"And the first, like, thing that touched him he freaked out about, and he bit my arm," Thompson said in an interview with KATU News after he was released from jail.

He said he doesn't think his dog is dangerous though it's bitten other dogs before. He blamed the officer.

"She looked like a threat, because she's coming up, in his waking moments, to something in his face," Thompson said.

Police said Thompson wouldn't give them his name so Dunbar took out her work cellphone to snap his photo to identify him later.

Once identified, officers ran his name and realized he is a registered sex offender from St. Helens.

Thompson declined to answer KATU's questions about being a sex offender.

He didn't have to post bail and was released on his own recognizance until his next court appearance.