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Defense seeks man’s release after deputies shot him, killed dog in ‘unusual’ arrest

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will be requesting the release of a man currently being held in jail after a deputy-involved shooting Thursday.

San Francisco Sheriff’s Department deputies kicked down the door of David Wesser’s resident at the Broadway Hotel at 2048 Polk St. on Thursday to serve the warrant. Wesser went to hold his dog “Ruby” back by his collar when a deputy opened fire, according to the public defender’s office. The bullet went through Wesser’s hand and hit his Ruby in the head and killed her, according to the public defender’s office.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman had said Thursday that the shooting occurred around 11:30 a.m. after the deputy encountered an aggressive dog while trying to serve a no-bail arrest warrant.

Wesser’s public defender Everett Hewlett said in a statement:

“One of his grounding forces in his life was his dog. He’s in a really low place right now.”

According to the public defender’s office, Wesser was being housed in a case management program and missed court on Aug. 30 because he was in the hospital for medical treatment unrelated to his case.

Wesser’s attorneys allege he would normally be allowed to have his case manager add him back on the court calendar after the long Labor Day weekend, but that didn’t happen, and instead they claim the sheriff’s department arrested him in “unusual” fashion.

Wesser told the public defender’s office “he heard a loud knocking on the door of his apartment and froze out of fear,” before moments later when deputies kicked in the door.

According to the public defender’s office, Wesser asked deputies to calm down and not to shoot Ruby. Wesser was arraigned Friday and the motion for his release will be heard Monday at 9 a.m. at the Hall of Justice.

Hewlett said:

“The ultimate irony is that Mr. Wesser was housed through the court’s program and getting assistance, but then he gets shot by a deputy in his own home. Now he is in custody being held, essentially, by the people who did it.”

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