Man taken down by police dog laughs in court

Accused Of Robbing Ocean Beach Store

SAN DIEGO - A robbery suspect, who was caught and bitten by a San Diego police dog last week, smirked and laughed at the judge during his arraignment Wednesday.

Steven Balisteri laughed when Deputy District Attorney James Koerber told the court Balisteri was a grave risk to public safety and asked that his bail be raised to $250,000.

The request was granted.

Balisteri is accused of stealing a car in Riverside County and driving it to San Diego. Authorities said when he arrived at a USA Gas station in Ocean Beach, he pointed a gun at the store clerk and fled with an undetermined amount of cash. Numerous witnesses pointed police in the right direction, and Balisteri was spotted at Robb Field, where he was arrested.

According to court documents, Balisteri had a drug offense in Riverside County and is accused of vehicle theft in the South Bay in addition to the robbery charges in Ocean Beach.

If convicted on all counts, including being a felon in possession of a gun, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 25.

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