By Bay City News Service
A man suspected of assaulting a woman after their dogs got in a fight near Glen Ellen last week was charged with misdemeanor battery and felony grand theft in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday.
Paul Mott, 53, of Kenwood, delayed entering a plea until Oct. 9. His attorney Richard Ingram said he is negotiating a settlement with prosecutors.
Mott had initially been booked into Sonoma County Jail for felony battery, robbery and animal cruelty after being arrested following a Sept. 22 confrontation with a 60-year-old woman who was walking her Australian shepherd on property near Sonoma Valley Regional Park that is owned by the Sonoma Developmental Center.
The alleged battery occurred after Mott's and the woman's dogs got in a fight. The woman told investigators that Mott crossed his dog's leash around her neck during the confrontation, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.
The woman said she was able to fight him off, and she threatened to take his picture with her cellphone camera, sheriff's Sgt. Dave Thompson said.
She claimed the man then ripped off her glasses, yanked the cellphone from her hand and threw it into Lake Suttonfield, Thompson said.
The woman also said the man kicked her dog several times before running toward Arnold Drive, Thompson said. The woman flagged down a hiker who called the sheriff's office. Deputies responded at 8:50 a.m.
Mott was not found that day, but turned himself in to the Sonoma County sheriff's office and was arrested on Sept. 24. Thompson said Mott saw the media reports of the incident and wanted to give his account.
Ingram said the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office has not charged his client with robbery or animal cruelty. He said the grand theft charge applies to the loss of the woman's cellphone.
After the brief court hearing this morning, Ingram said Mott "was trying to defend his dog that was attacked."
"I'm going to review the reports. We're in delicate negotiations," Ingram said.
Mott posted bail and is out of custody.
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