Park Ranger Uses Stun Gun on Unruly Dog Walker - NBC Bay Area

Park Ranger Uses Stun Gun on Unruly Dog Walker

Off-leash dog walking means a potential stun gun in the back from federal officials.



    A dog owner whose dogs were off-leash was stunned after a confrontation with a ranger. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012)

    Think twice before you take your lap dogs off-leash. You could end up like the man zapped with a stun gun by a federal park ranger on Sunday.

    Gary Hesterberg was walking two dogs off-leash at Rancho Corral de Tierra, an open space near Moss Beach when a federal park ranger approached him in order to "educate" him about the leash requirement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Witnesses saw Hesterberg give the ranger a false name and then walk away after the ranger never gave him a reason for being detained, the newspaper reported.

    While Hesterberg's back was turned, the ranger applied the stun gun, witness Michelle Babcock told the Chronicle. "She [the ranger] never gave him a reason," Babcock said. "It didn't make any sense."

    After being stunned, Hesterberg gave the ranger his real name.

    Hesterberg was arrested and given three charges: failure to obey a lawful order, having dogs off-leash, and knowingly providing false information.

    A spokesman for the National Park Service, which oversees the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, of which the open space is a part, said that Hesterberg was stunned only after repeatedly trying to leave the scene.

    There are leash requirements in many parts of the federal land around the Pacific Ocean, including Ocean Beach in San Francisco, in order to protect 1,200 species of plants and native animals, like the Snowy Plover bird, the spokesman said.

    Rancho Corral was added to this list of dog-restricted places last year, according to the newspaper. The ranger was only trying to tell Hesterberg that before she stunned him, the spokesman for NPS said.

    That's one way to get someone's attention.