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Attorney: Woman who bit jogger was defending herself and her dogs

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An attorney for an Oakland woman arrested after allegedly biting a jogger who pepper-sprayed her dogs last week maintains her client was defending herself and her pets.

Emily Dahm, an attorney representing Alma Cadwalader, 19, said Sunday that her client was trying to protect her dogs, which were running off-leash on a trail in Anthony Chabot Park on Thursday morning.

The dogs, a shepherd husky mix and a lab mix, ran up to a woman jogging, but didn’t attack, Dahm said:

“There was no ‘dog attack.'”

The jogger “assumed the worst, overreacted and pepper sprayed the pets,” Dahm said.

The confrontation escalated when Cadwalader tried to get the woman to stop spraying the dogs, Dahm said.

Cadwalader tried to grab the pepper spray and the jogger grabbed Cadwalader’s hair and kicked her in the groin — prompting Cadwalader to bite her on the forearm to let go of her hair, Dahm said.

Police reports, however, maintain it was Cadwalader who “accosted” the jogger about 10:25 a.m. at Goldenrod Trail between the Chabot Equestrian Center and the Oakland City Stables in Oakland.

Cadwalader allegedly tackled and punched the jogger multiple times, according to East Bay Regional Park District police. When the jogger attempted to push Cadwalader off her, the dog walker bit her, police said.

The jogger suffered significant injuries after being bitten on the forearm by Cadwalader, according to police.

An Alameda County judge issued a warrant Friday and police arrested Cadwalader. She is expected to be arraigned Monday in Alameda County Superior Court.

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