Slain Calif. man who shot at police dog was on early release

Man was released from the Butte County Jail because of overcrowding

By Katy Sweeny
Chico Enterprise-Record

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Chico man who shot a Sacramento police dog Friday and was then killed by an officer would likely still be alive if he was not released from the Butte County Jail because of overcrowding.

Sacramento police identified the man as Lucus Webb, 33, according to the Sacramento Bee. The Sacramento Police Department did not return calls for information by deadline Monday.

Webb was facing nine years in prison for the charge of carrying a dirk or dagger along with prior prison sentences and a strike, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Monday.

The Butte County Jail released him twice because of overcrowding and Webb failed to appear in court twice. A warrant was out for Webb's arrest when he was killed.

"When you have overcrowded jails, they are making the best choices," Ramsey said of jail staff. "Do we release a rapist, a murderer, a serial burglar or release this guy who had a knife down his pants?"

About 9:50 a.m. Friday, Sacramento police tried to stop a car stolen from Chico near Broadway and 24th Street in the capital city, but the driver led them on a chase, police reported. The car almost hit a group of children.

Officers soon found a man and woman on foot near Riverside Boulevard and Robertson Way.

Police arrested the woman, Leslie McCulley, 28, also of Chico, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The man ran into a backyard and fired multiple rounds at an officer, hitting police dog Bodie in the face and paw, police reported. The officer returned fire, killing the man.

Bodie was rushed to an animal hospital and is now recovering, police reported. He is a 4-year-old German Shepherd and has been with the Sacramento Police Department for a year.

Chico police records indicate Webb stole a burgundy 2000 Toyota Camry from a residence in the 100 block of Innsbrook Way, in north Chico. The theft was reported Sunday morning.

The Butte County Jail has had an increase of inmates because of the prisoner realignment program that shifts responsibility from the prison system to county jails, Ramsey said. In order to prevent overcrowding, jail staff decides who would be the "least bad choice" to release out into the community.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office, which oversees the jail, was not available for comment by deadline Monday.

McCulley had pleaded guilty to a drug charge in Butte County Superior Court but allegedly did not comply with realignment restrictions following her sentence, Ramsey said.

"This is what we expected to happen," Ramsey said. "There are people who should remain in custody who are out of custody."

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