At-large parolee uses pit bull as weapon in carjacking attempts

ELK GROVE – Police engaged in a dangerous standoff with an at-large parolee who used his pit bull as a weapon in his attempts to steal two cars and, when confronted, attack the authorities who cornered him.

The evening began with Ronald Tomlinson, 46, a parolee with an active warrant out for his arrest, at an AM/PM gas station on Grant Line Road on Monday. Tomlinson had removed the fuel nozzle from a customer’s car and opened the driver’s side door when the returning owner confronted Tomlinson. Tomlinson then ordered his dog to attack the customer, which resulted in the owner of the vehicle being bitten on the leg. The owner suffered bruising and scratches to his leg.

Tomlinson then tried his luck with another unattended vehicle. When the owner of the vehicle confronted Tomlinson, Tomlinson began to open the rear car door to release his dog. Fearful that he was going to be attacked, the owner of the vehicle backed away. Tomlinson was unable to start the vehicle and realized that Elk Grove police were now at the AM/PM. Tomlinson exited the vehicle and fled on foot southbound on Grant Line Road with his dog.

Responding officers established a perimeter in an effort to locate Tomlinson. An officer’s K-9 partner picked up Tomlinson’s scent and led officers on a lengthy track to some bushes near a fence line where their suspect was hiding.

Upon discovering Tomlinson, officers began giving him directions to exit the bushes and surrender. Tomlinson instead sicced his pit bull on the police K-9. As the dogs were fighting, the K-9 officer began to assist his K-9 partner while another officer was watching Tomlinson. The pit bull disengaged and retreated behind Tomlinson, who was still hiding in the bushes and refusing to surrender.

The K-9 was deployed and made contact with Tomlinson’s arm as officers were giving him directions to surrender. The pit bull then re-engaged the police K-9 as officers approached. The K-9 officer was able to reach down and grab the pit bull by the scruff of the neck and remove the dog from the situation. The pit bull was secured by additional officers and Tomlinson was taken into custody. The police K-9 did not suffer any injuries as a result of the encounter with the pit bull.

The pit bull was turned over to Animal Services and a 10-day hold was placed on it. Tomlinson was arrested on charges of carjacking and parole violation.

Tomlinson was treated at a local area hospital, then transported to the Sacramento County main jail.

Ronald Tomlinson


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