Pickaxe-wielding parolee who fought with & punched Redding K-9 arrested after struggle

REDDING, Calif., — Authorities say a pickaxe-wielding woman who fled from Redding police officers during an attempted burglary investigation was arrested after fighting with a police service dog late Saturday evening, April 30.

Although the alleged suspect was seen fighting with and punching the K-9, the service dog was uninjured while apprehending the violent parolee, who was later treated for dog bites and other minor injuries before being booked into jail on a variety of charges. 


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Redding Police Officers were dispatched to a private residence in the 5700 block of Glory Street, southwest of Branstetter Lane and Cedars Road, around 11:16 p.m. after receiving the report of a woman causing a disturbance while trying to forcefully gain access into the home and refusing to leave, Redding Police Sergeant Regan Ortega has since said of the incident and arrest.

The homeowner identified the woman as 28-year-old, Araya Smith, of Redding, and while en route to the scene, officers learned that Smith is currently on California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole for assault with a deadly weapon and also learned Smith has a prior history of brandishing weapons.

Araya Smith was treated at a local hospital for dog bite injuries after she was arrested during an attempted burglary investigation on Saturday. Redding PD photo

When officials arrived, they spotted Smith on the home’s front porch; however, the highly agitated woman fled the area before officers could contact her.

Although officers gave chase, they were not initially able to locate Smith and requested assistance from Redding PD’s K-9 “Duke”, who responded to the location to assist in searching for her, according to Ortega.

“A short time later, K-9 Duke located Smith hiding in a field amongst the shrubbery,” Ortega explained, adding, “Smith was armed with a pickaxe and refused to comply with officers’ commands to surrender.”

With Smith refusing to obey officers, K-9 Duke was deployed to assist in her apprehension.

“During the apprehension, Smith grabbed and punched K-9 Duke’s head; however, this did not deter his efforts and he was not injured by Smith’s attack,” Ortega went on to say, adding that Smith was ultimately taken into custody after a brief struggle with the police service dog.


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After her arrest, Smith was medically treated at an area hospital before being booked into the Shasta County Jail in Redding on suspicion of attempted burglary, trespassing, public intoxication, resisting arrest, willful interference with a police K-9, and violation of parole.

Online jail records indicate she has since been released and is no longer in custody.

Ortega did not specify how or if she knew the occupants of the home she had been attempting to break into and no further details have been released.

Anyone with further information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Redding Police Department at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 22R026607 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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