Ranger uses electric shock on man walking dogs off leash

February 1, 2012

A ranger shot a man on Sunday with a stun gun who was walking his lap-dogs off leash in a federal park after he tried to walk away, causing witnesses to claim the action was excessive. [SFChronicle]

Gary Hesterberg was walking his dogs off leash on Sunday at Rancho Corral de Tierra, an area that had long been an off leash dog park. In December, the park was incorporated into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area which requires leashes. Hesterberg, who was not carrying identification, allegedly gave a false name to the ranger who failed to tell him why he was being questioned.

The unidentified ranger asked Hesterberg to remain at the scene. After the ranger shot Hesterberg in the back, she called sheriff deputies who arrested Hesterberg for walking his dog without a  leash and giving false information.

A fellow dog walker, Michelle Babcock said the use of a stun gun and the arrest seemed excessive for someone walking small dogs without a leash.

“It was really scary,” said Michelle Babcock to the Chronicle. “He just tried to walk away. She never gave him a reason.”

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Tasers were not developed for casual use by LE. Th y were developed so that LE would have to get into physical encounters. The use of tasers are becoming a common ploy for anything and everything. They are being abused by too many Officers, period. We are turning into a police state right before our very eyes.

They were developed so that LE “WOULDN’T” have to get into physical encounters.

Exactly, Cindy. Thank you.

One of the reasons tasers were developed was as a means to allow LEOs to control combative peeps without bashing them with a baton or flashlight, or without using a chokehold, which went out of favor starting, I think, in the 1980s. The LAPD banned blood chokes completely, then reconsidered them later after Rodney King got the tar beat out of him by baton-wielding officers.

I agree that tasers probably were never intended to be a lazy-officers way to control someone who could be controlled with less possibly lethal means. That is the goal with most LEOs, even the heavy-handed ones: use the less lethal means possible.

Step one: follow the rules and keep your dog on a leash. This person was probably visiting from Los Osos, where many dog owners feel it is OK to allow dogs to be off leash to bother other people, pets, and wildlife.

Have YOU ever “broken a rule” Jimmy? And if you should in the future, would you mind if we shocked the hell (or life) out of you for it?


I can’t stand dogs off leash. They crap, and they jump up, and they chase the birds. So I agree with you there.

But, lethal force for a leash violation is ludicrous.

I also can’t stand idiot cell phone left lane slowpokes. However, I don’t condone spike strips and road blocks to enforce those laws.

Obviously this dog-walker has not seen Chris Rock’s educational video on how not to get your asz kicked by the police…

That video may generate laughs, but it also justifies over-zealous, illegal behavior (including homicide) by law enforcement, which is not so funny.

Too often unnecessary violence is committed by law enforcement simply because the victim has bruised the ego of a law enforcement officer. Law enforcement officers, in general, are deeply lacking proper training to not take things personally and not over-react.

The fact that people on forums like this are so quick to defend law enforcement over-reaction and unnecessary violence only makes things worse for all concerned. Sad.

Agree (Absolutely Agree) Roy, there was some room for it to have come out differently!

Roy! That link in your blog was hysterical! It made my day! You should email it to PRPD and reference it as a “Employee Diversity Training” video “from the AG” (=Arroyo Grande…). HA!

Okay, made me look.

This was turned into a leash park, man walking dogs with no leash,wrong,man not giving correct name,wrong, but none of this is a BIG deal, ranger using a taser/stun gun on the guy for this is just WRONG, the little lady should have called for another ranger to help question the guy or just blew it off.

She shouldn’t have been on patrol by herself in the first place. Sorry. I am old enough to remember my mother *itching about employment ads specifying “men only,” so I’m WAY for women’s rights, but not if they are incompetent for the requirements of the job.

Man or woman: If you want to be a ranger, and if that involves being able to patrol alone, and if you cannot handle, without using a taser, a guy walking his dogs off leash– then you are incompetent to do the job.

Not only that, you are a danger to the public, yourself, and your fellow rangers who will get stuck bailing you out and cleaning up your mess.

Good response by the cop, thankfully she didn’t grab her black gun instead.

It just reminds me of the BART cop who accidentally shot the transcient with his gun instead of his taser.

“Good response”??!! NOT! And it will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, thank you very much.

I was actually being sarcastic and tried to use some reverse psychology on the those that think this should be SOP for cops.

Facist pigs. Both the insecure ranger and the slimy sheriffs. BFD.

Anyone who thinks this is about walking dogs off-leash needs to work on their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. This is a non-story. Good job, Ranger.

Excuse me SLo’, but what in the hell are you talking about? If it is a “non-story” then your words are a “non-comment”. Get real.

Non story? good job you say? more like an unnecessary abuse of power. Id like to have seen the outcome if the dog owner didn’t speak English or had a weak heart and walked away because they didnt comprehend what she was saying, miss ranger would be looking at another tax payer funded lawsuit .

So lets say your on your moto bike getting rousted at Pozo or the dunes,you putt away like we know some will do just because they can, is it OK to pump a few rounds into their back Kevin? Not a chance.

“So lets say your on your moto bike getting rousted at Pozo or the dunes,you putt away like we know some will do just because they can, is it OK to pump a few rounds into their back Kevin?”

No, but expect to get tazed! LOL

Not if you’re more than 21 feet away. Remember that number.

He got zapped for lying to the LE and then trying to walk away, both stupid decisions. Bet he won’t do that again.

You say “zapped” so casually, like its a little slap on the wrist. That’s the problem. You literally don’t know what you are talking about and your attitude simply promotes poor judgement and callousness regarding something that is extremely dangerous. This ain’t a video game, my friend. Get real, please.

An off leash dog park and he’s electrocuted for walking his dogs off leash? Sounds like Mr Ranger is just another overzealous government idiot who should have be issued a fly swatter not a deadly weapon.

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