Ranger Used Taser on Man Walking Dogs

An incident involving a park ranger tasing a man who was walking his dogs is under investigation by the National Parks Service, according to reports from northern California.

Witnesses have stated that Gary Hesterberg, was walking his dog in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in northern California this past weekend when he was stopped by a park ranger for not having his dogs on a leash, as reported by KTVU.

Michelle Babcock, in a statement, claimed "the man she was citing had already leashed his dogs and provided her all his personal information." She added that the dog owner asked why he was being stopped and then told the ranger to give him a ticket or he was leaving.

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

But in a statement, the parks recreation area communications director, Howard Levitt, stated that the situation "began as one of several educational contacts that day about the NPS rules on dog-walking."

"But this one developed into a more serious law enforcement situation when the person being contacted provided false information," he continued.

Hesterberg allegedly gave the park ranger a false name and when questioned and would not give the ranger printed identification, according to reports.

The ranger attempted to verify the man's identification. The ranger noticed he had told her a false name when she called dispatchers to verify, Levitt said.

While she was on the telephone, "the man failed to heed repeated orders to remain at the scene" and the ranger subsequently engaged her taser.

Hesterberg was arrested on suspicion of failing to obey a lawful order, having dogs off their leash and knowingly providing false information, Levitt said.