Man who tangled with police dog to face habitual criminal charges

Richard Stieb

A man suspected of trying to drown a police dog Wednesday will be charged as a habitual criminal, a Mesa County prosecutor said Friday.

Richard Stieb, 38, of Grand Junction, faces a maximum 64 years if convicted of the habitual criminal counts, which are allowed under Colorado law for individuals with at least three prior felony convictions. Stieb has seven prior felonies, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said.

Stieb, who appeared to limp back and forth from a podium, said little during his first appearance Friday.

County Court Judge Bruce Raaum ordered Stieb held at the Mesa County Jail on $100,000 bond. State parole officials have alleged Stieb violated terms of his parole and have placed a hold on Stieb, which prevents him from posting a bond.

Stieb is unemployed and under the care of a local doctor for a work-related injury, for which he’s collecting workers compensation, attorneys said.

In what was his third trip to state prison, Stieb in January 2005 was sentenced to 6 years after pleading guilty to theft and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Montrose prosecutors dismissed habitual criminal charges in exchange for Stieb’s guilty pleas. State records show he was arrested, or issued a summons, in Colorado 10 times since 1990.

Stieb was advised on seven possible charges, including first-degree burglary and aggravated cruelty to animals, after authorities allege he fled the scene of a burglary around 11 p.m. Wednesday at 1766 L 1/2 Road.

Oldo, a 7-year-old German shepherd Grand Junction police dog, tracked Stieb roughly a quarter-mile northwest of the home before the dog was allegedly pulled into a canal by Stieb.
Stieb will be formally charged Wednesday.


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