Peninsula Park Ranger Uses Stun Gun On Man Walking Dogs Off-Leash

MONTARA (CBS/AP) — A park spokesman said a man walking his dogs in San Mateo County was hit with a stun gun only after it “developed into a more serious law enforcement situation.”

Passers-by in the Rancho Corral de Tierra section of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area said they were astonished when the female ranger stunned Gary Hesterberg in the back on Sunday.

Park spokesman Howard Levitt said Hesterberg was initially stopped for walking his dogs without a leash. Levitt said Hesterberg gave a false name and ignored an order to stay.

Levitt said the encounter is being reviewed just like any other use of force by a law enforcement officer. The unidentified ranger remains on the job.

Hesterberg could not be reached for comment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • NOT

    LEE: How Much Crazy weed did you smoke today

  • GPM

    And that is applicable to two dogs sauntering in the sand untethered how?

  • incometax

    NOT: How much ignorance did you stuff your face with today?

  • Michael Feist

    Is this park rander a recent tranfer from San Juan Island County in Washington? Is this an example of the type law enforcement they one make expect/recieve from the new incoming ranger/law officer due to patrol our beaches in Pacifica? What is wrong with the screening processes that these “PEACE” officer are/should be going through? YOU, as a officer of a park service, private service, and/or public service; city, county, state, or federal are “NOT”! the judge, jury, executioner! WAKE UP! America! Are we headed for a police state? Get rid of these gun handling idiots from our PARKS! GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS take notice! Walking your dog off least NEVER warrants that type of force!!!!!!!!! Take a few PHOTOGRAPHS of the CRIMMINAL and their ACCOMPLICE, God forbid the dog poops on the beach, next those IDIOTS will be shooting Fildo for peeing in public. WAKE UP for Christ’s sake, it’s a leash law, barely a misdemeanor. Enough!!!!

  • Donald Wright

    Dog owners seem to think that every public place is their own backyard, and that the laws don’t apply to them. Bravo to the park ranger.

    • brad

      You disgust me. The illegal use of force should have been met with force against her by others in the area. If she is not fired she is going to get hers

      • bradisanidiot

        Those using force against an officer doing her job should be met with lethal force, not simply a stun gun.

    • kim

      I agree, Donald. The law is the law. I don’t care how well-trained, well behaved or how friendly your dog is. When it is off leash in an on leash designated area the dog owner is violating the law. Compliant dog owners don’t appreciate an off leash dog being allowed to come up to their pooch. My message to Mr. Hesterberg is ” When you choose the behavior you choose the consequence.”

      • Sterling Headset

        “when you choose the behavior you choose the consequence”. That goes for the sadistic cop too Kim. When the police fail to control themselves and routinely use excessive force against the populace, the police themselves will be in danger and live in fear. Cops aren’t fearless, they simply have the weight of the law behind them. May you have your rights violated by an aggressive, sadistic cop one day Kim. I’d love to watch that happen.

  • brad

    If I where there, i would have come to this mans aid, with force if necessary. This ranger should be fired and sued. If she is not fired, she best look behind her.

    The American people are going to show her what using force is all about if she does not get fired.

    • DaPoPoMan

      You do that and see what you get. Its easy to talk tough on a computer.

  • mindy

    you are so right this is already a police state people just dont realize it

  • mindy

    Lived in the bayarea for 55 years having dogs was fine you pricks moved in making all these rules. go ahead you stay and live like this . Im moving out of state

    • kim

      Mindy………be reasonable. In 1957 most of California was still bucolic farmland and orchards. As the population grew and cities became more densely populated the need for laws to protect everybody became necessary. If you don’t like the law then do something to change it. Take it to your City Council and initiate a ballot measure. The population in San Jose where I live is 1,000,000 people. One in four households has a dog. If you had it your way 250,000 dogs in San Jose would be free to roam wherever, whenever, without consequence. You are making the right decision to move out of state. Good riddance.

  • Pete Souza

    Welcome to the communist republic of California. Perhaps poetic justice will prevail, and the Ranger will accidentally kill their own dog by mishandling the stun-gun.

  • McHusker

    As an official out-of-stater I am aghast at such an unwarranted use of force for such an insignificant offence. Indeed ignoring an official’s “official” request is not acceptable, but in the light of the history of the park’s recently being free to dog owners, a little leeway seems in order. What about a friendly request? I thought park rangers were supposed to be on “our side,” and not another one of those we need to fear, right up there with IRS, TSA, and CIA. Sigh.

  • kim

    Based on my own personal experience and observations many, many dog owners seem to think they are above the law and continually, repeatedly and deliberately violate posted leash laws. Leash laws exist for a reason: for the protection of people and for the protection of the owners dog and other dogs.. Mr. Hesterberg was violating the law and defied a directive from a sworn peace officer to stop and identify himself. Citizens, including those with young children, are reasonable to expect that dog owners obey posted leash laws when walking the trail. I have yet to encounter a dog owner violating leash laws who is apologetic when called on it. They typically adopt a hostile and defensive demeanor and offer a myriad of excuses to justify their illegal behavior. Imagine if this ranger had let Mr. Hesterberg go and then his dog bit or knocked down and injured someone on the trail. There would be public outcry that the ranger was not doing her job. I fully support and applaud the actions of this ranger.

  • mindy

    kim you are whats wrong with this country stupid know it all!

  • Ray


    It seems to me both of these people acted badly. What I don’t get is after he put the 2nd dog on a lease that should have been the end of it. Why did the ranger ask for ID? He should not have given a false name but the use of the taser was way over the top.

  • Updates headlines and News in the middle of San Francisco for Feb 01 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 San Francisco

    […] John Chiang told budget leaders at the Capitol in a letter Tuesday. The controller recommen… Peninsula Park Ranger Uses Stun Gun On Man Walking Dogs Off-LeashA park spokesman said a man walking his dogs in San Mateo County was hit with a stun gun only after […]

  • Rep. Speier Calls For Investigation Into Dog Walker Tasing « CBS San Francisco

    […] Related tags Animals, Dog Walker, Dogs, Jackie Speier, Leash, Montara, Off-Leash, Park ranger, Rancho Corral de Tierra, Ranger, Stun Gun, Taser var addthis_product = 'wpp-261'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true};if (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = {"templates":{"twitter":"{{title}} {{url}}"},"url_transforms":{"shorten":{"twitter":"bitly"}},"shorteners":{"bitly":{"login":"cbslocal","apiKey":"R_a42469be25a4cd114f9641fad362d038"}}};}MONTARA (CBS/AP) — A Peninsula congresswoman wants an independent investigator to determine whether a federal park ranger used excessive force when she used a stun gun on a man walking his dogs. […]

  • DaPoPoMan

    You all just do not understand. The ranger asked for identification because she was going to issue a citation. You can like that or not. It was a lawful action as a result of his letting his dogs run off-leash. He refused to comply. She violated case law with her use of the Taser. His refusal to cooperate allows her to use force to overcome his resistance. In this case, it would have involved going hands-on or pepper spraying and or higher force options.

  • Ray

    From what I’ve read the ranger was there for educational purposes and not to issue citations. She apparently didn’t understand (or didn’t care) what her job duties were. Unless you are going to issue a citation you don’t need to know his name. The man should have given his real name, but there was no reason she needed his name if she was doing her job function correctly.

  • Jessica

    Dogs must be leashed. There is nothing that states the leash must be in your hand. Problem solved.

  • Bay Area Dog Walker Hit With Stun Gun Sues Park Service « CBS San Francisco

    […] In a federal lawsuit filed Thursday, 51-year-old Gary Hesterberg of Montara claims his constitutional rights were violated and seeks $500,000 in damages for the Jan. 29, 2012 incident. […]

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