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 A knife-wielding man suspected of slashing tires who stabbed a police K9-unit when confronted was behind bars Thursday.

Officers found a Rani Alrais, 25, with a 6-inch steak knife in the 200 block of Roanoke Avenue, near East Park Avenue, after reports of a man slashing car tires around 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to the El Cajon Police Department.

Officers called in backup and began to follow Alrais, who then charged at an officer and ran toward a school campus. EPD reported firing less- lethal projectiles that hit the man but did not stop him.

Jester, the EPD K9 officer, was deployed to apprehend Alrais but was stabbed in the head during the struggle. Alrais was transported to a local trauma center to be treated for bite injuries. Jester was transported to a local animal hospital with serious injuries. As of Thursday morning, Jester was at home recovering.

EPD reported that more than 24 vehicles had slashed tires on Roanoke Avenue on Wednesday night.

Alrais was booked into the San Diego County Jail on suspicion of assault on an officer, assault on a police K9, vandalism and carrying a concealed knife.

According to the Lt. Randy Soulard, a bail enhancement was approved on Alrais due to the “number and severity” of the charges.

— City News Service