The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Felony Arrest Results in Fatal Dog Shooting

January 22, 2016

NEEDLES, Calif – On Wednesday, January 21 at about 11:00 a.m., deputies from the Riverside Sherriff’s Department, Colorado River Station and Needles Police Department, responded to a residence in the 1900 block of Peru Street in Needles to serve a felony arrest warrant on Robert Cleland. When deputies made contact at the door, they were met by a large vicious dog.

The deputies instructed to occupants of the house to secure the dog. The dog was placed in a bedroom of the house and deputies entered the house to take Cleland into custody. While Cleland was being taken into custody, the dog was released from the bedroom and charged deputies that were in the hall. Fearing that the dog was going to attack the deputies, the dog was shot and fatally wounded.

Deputies conducted a safety sweep of the residence and while doing so, found a loaded firearm in plain view with its serial number obliterated. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and as a result of the search warrant, property was located that was reported stolen as well as live ammunition.

Robert Cleland (age 32 of Needles) was arrested under the original warrant, as well as convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition and possession of stolen property. He was booked at the Colorado River Station Jail and is being held on $450,000 bail.

Persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form. Anyone with further information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Runstrum or Detective Cross of the Colorado River Station at 760-921-7900 or the Needles Police Department at (760) 326-9200.

Nixle  Get local alerts for Ripley, Mesa Verde, Desert Center, North River and Colorado River Tribe Communities, and all other areas covered by the Colorado River Sheriff’s Station by texting your zip code to 888777 or sign up using your email address at

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