Woman Accused of Attacking Jogger at East Bay Park Responds, Says She Was Defending Herself, Dogs

A short time before the assault, the victim used pepper spray to defend herself against the assailant's dog

A woman who has been accused of assaulting a jogger on an East Bay Park trail last week has been wrongly accused, according to her lawyer.

Attorney Emily Dahm said at a news conference Sunday her client wants to set the record straight. Dahm represents 19-year-old Alma Cadwalader, who is accused of attacking and biting a jogger last Thursday on a popular off-leash trail in Chabot Regional Park, near the Oakland City Stables.

The alleged victim, an East Bay nurse, told police when one of Cadwalader’s dogs tried to bite her, she pepper-sprayed the dogs. Then, she told police, a short time later, Cadwalader attacked her and bit her on the forearm, leaving a deep and bloody bite mark.

Cadwalader allegedly tackled and punched the jogger multiple times, and as the victim attempted to push her attacker away, she was bitten on her forearm by the suspect, police said.

Dahm says the dogs did run up to the jogger but never even barked at her.

"The dogs did not attack her in any way, shape or form," Dahm said. "They didn’t jump on her, didn’t bite her."

She says Cadwalader yelled for the jogger to stop pepper-spraying the dogs, and when she tried to grab the pepper spray canister, the jogger was the one who began attacking.

"She grabbed my client by the hair, kneed her in the groin and began attacking her," Dahm said. "And when she had my client’s hair in her hand, my client bit to get her to release her."

Once free, Cadwalader walked away, hoping to diffuse the situation, Dahm said.

Dahm provided a video showing one of the dogs with his eye swollen shut after the pepper spray.

"All she had done in this case was defend first her dogs against an unprovoked attack and then herself from yet another unprovoked attack," Dahm said of Cadwalader.

Police arrested Cadwalader on multiple felony charges. She is set to be arraigned Monday afternoon.

The alleged victim declined to comment.

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