PORTLAND -- An officer was bitten by a dog Tuesday morning while conducting a "routine wake-up call" for people sleeping under the Morrison Bridge, said Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson.
At about 8 a.m. officers were walking along Naito Parkway, asking people to remove their property from the sidewalk, according to Simpson.
"A dog running loose attacked and bit an officer, causing a minor injury," Simpson said. "Several people became combative with officers, who deployed pepper spray in the course of making two arrests."
Two men, identified as Angel Lopez, 20, and David Bentley, 38, were arrested and charged with harassment, assault and disorderly conduct.
The dog was taken into the custody of Multnomah County Animal Control. The owner told KGW he needs the dog, named Pepperoni, because he is trained to lick him if he goes into an epileptic seizure.
Ashley Franzen and Ivan Scharbrough said they witnessed the arrest and felt the officers treated the homeless people unfairly.
"I heard a dog start whining and I got up and they've got Pepperoni shoved down to the ground and they've got their knees on the dog's head," Franzen said.
"I was standing right there filming when they pepper-sprayed like four people without any warning at all... just like they don't care," added Scharbrough.
Police said they do care but the homeless group was especially combative.
As for Pepperoni, officials said he will remain in quarantine during the investigation. Police said he has bitten people before and the owner has been fined in the past.
Related: Dog bite injures Wash. Co. deputy