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Woman who broke into Costa Mesa DMV is bitten by police dog, authorities say

March 20, 2011 | 11:22 am

A 49-year-old woman who rammed her car into a Costa Mesa Department of Motor Vehicles office Saturday and tried to access several computers was bitten by a police dog before being arrested, authorities said.

Tamera Grant of Irvine backed her Mazda sedan through the front doors of the closed DMV office in the 600 block of West 19th Street about 5:30 p.m., Costa Mesa police Sgt. Patrick Wessel said.

After a witness reported seeing Grant enter the building, Costa Mesa police notified the local fire department and county bomb squad, as well as the California Highway Patrol, which oversees state buildings. “We thought maybe somebody was trying to sabotage the building,” Wessel said.

Authorities surrounded the building and after two hours, Grant emerged and attempted to get into her car and drive away, Wessel said. A police canine unit detained her and Grant suffered minor dog bites to her hand and head. She was taken to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach.

Responding officers noted that Grant attempted to access several computers and said she appeared to be suffering from a mental disorder, telling authorities that she broke into the DMV building to “type her story,” Wessel said.

Grant remained hospitalized Sunday and will probably be arrested for burglary, police said.


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-- Corina Knoll