MONTARA (CBS SF) – Congresswoman Jackie Speier is asking an independent party to investigate whether park regulations were violated and excessive force was used in an incident Sunday in which a park ranger used a Taser on a dog walker in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near Montara.

Rep. Speier (D-Hillsborough) Wednesday sent a letter to GGNRA Superintendent Frank Dean expressing her concerns and requesting information about the incident in which Gary Hesterberg, of Montara, who was walking his dogs off-leash, was Tased.

“Many of my constituents are understandably angered by what appears to be an excessive use of force by a park ranger,” Speier said.  “From the information I have to date, it does not appear that the use of a Taser was warranted.”

Speier, who worked closely with state officials on the use of tear gas, stun guns and pepper spray while she was in the California Legislature, requested information about training in Taser usage for park rangers and asked how the public was informed about dog policy changes at Rancho Corral de Tierra.

All dogs are now required to be leashed in the recreational space.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

According to Montara resident Michelle Babcock, who witnessed the confrontation in the Rancho Corral de Tierra open space area on Sunday afternoon, a female ranger had detained the dog owner for walking his two small dogs without a leash.

Babcock said the man the ranger was citing had already leashed his dogs and provided the ranger with all his personal information.

According to Babcock, the dog owner repeatedly asked why he was being detained, and eventually told the ranger to cite him or he was going to walk away.

“He started to walk away and she told him that she would Tase him if he walked another step,” Babcock said, adding that the man turned and the ranger deployed her Taser, causing the man to fall to the ground.

Advocate groups for dog owners—such as Montara Dog and DogPAC of San Francisco—have asked the National Park Service to investigate the incident and cease ticketing dog walkers in Rancho Corral de Tierra.

GGNRA officials issued a statement Tuesday saying they have initiated a review of the incident.

According to the statement, the dog walker provided false information to the ranger and refused the ranger’s repeated orders to remain at the scene while his identity was confirmed.

The 3,800-acre property was transferred to the park service by the Peninsula Open Space Trust in December.

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

Comments (10)
  1. PLW says:

    Failure to obey the law, failure to obey a law enforcement officers orders, giving false information to a law enforcement officer, attempting to leave once a law enforcement office has stopped you, and attempting to leave location because Dummy believes the law violation is too minor to bother with……. Unless Gary has a mental disability, his illegal actions required force to be enforced. Bleeding heart Liberals, mentally disabled people, and low life crooks generally believe they should decide which laws should be enforced and which laws should not be enforced… ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ILLEGAL ACTIONS…..

  2. rs says:

    i’m inclined to believe the witness who has nothing to gain by lying about what she saw. i think it was definitely excessive to tase the guy. tasers should be used on people who are behaving violently towards officers or other people.

  3. zapped says:

    rs would you say the same thing if a 20 year old gang banger who had 2 pit bulls off lease, gave a false name and walk away , If you read today’s’ paper the ranger called for back up after he gave a false name, he challenged the rangers authority to detain him and tried to leave. the ranger grabbed his arm and tried to detain him a second time, the again pulled away started to leave, it is only after twice being warned to stay and twice after he refused and started to leave a third time was he then zapped,.

    It is a felony to give a police office a false name and for that alone he should face charges.

    Some people say it was only two dogs off lease, but can the same be said for someone pulled over for a broken tail light , who then refused to give the cop his license and tries to drive away. should the cop try to stop him or just let him go?

    Or someone playing loud music in the library or throwing popcorn at the movies, so do these people not deserve to be cited, and if they refuse to give id are allowed to leave with no consequence for their actions.


  4. Ducks says:

    “Power ranger” has a previous incident per Half Moon Bay Review:
    The ranger has been identified by witnesses in both instances as Sarah Cavallaro, and both instances concerned people walking dogs off-leash. See further The Half Moon Bay Review for details of previous incident

  5. Harry Martin says:

    Officer Molly Macho seems to have a major ego/power trip problem. Compliance with the law, with a PEACE officers is important. However as a peace officer she should have known there are many ways to obtain compliance. Law enforcement, keeping the PEACE is the objective. To try to accomplish this with a tazer in this scenario is like using chain saw in surgery.

  6. Dan says:

    The police have tasers and other weapons for the purpose of punishing suspects, so there is no real need for the courts. The police will serve as judge, jury and executioner. This all comes from the fact that police are scared and became police because they want power over others.

    1. DOH says:

      With thoughts like those, you are a dangerous moron. Please report to the nearest detention center for destruction.

  7. Tom says:

    With everything else going on, it amazes me that Rep. Speier has nothing better to do than stick her nose into this incident. Gimme a break, Jackie…There is obviously going to be a complete review of this use of force by the ranger, and let’s not jump the gun too much be making this a federal incident (oh, wait, that’s right: this is an election year!!!).

    By the way, Zapped, giving false info to a police officer is not a felony, just a misdemeanor…

  8. bubba says:

    this woman is a nut and needs to GO NOW

  9. George says:

    Nothing worse than a cop with a chip on her shoulder. It’s a tough job, but a few bad apples like her give the whole department a bad rap. Get rid of her.