El Dorado County Sheriff's deputies said that Tania Nichols was at a Durock Road car wash in Cameron Park about 9:30 a.m. Monday with her two daughters, ages 8 and 10. While the trio was getting change from a coin machine, a man tried to take the vehicle.
Nichols ran back to her car while her daughters ducked behind the change machine, according to a sheriff's press release.
At that point, the mother started fighting with the car thief, later identified by deputies as Daniel Craig Wright, 42, of Placerville. Nichols was able to drag Wright from her car, deputies said.
Wright then took off on foot and law enforcement was alerted to the attempted theft and ensuing struggle. He was eventually cornered after he fled through brush.
A sheriff's K9 put the bite on Wright, which prompted the man to "violently assault" the dog, according to deputies. When the dog's handler intervened and attempted to place handcuffs on Wright, the man fought the deputy.
Eventually, the deputy took him into custody. After treatment at the hospital, Wright was booked on suspicion of attempted carjacking, assaulting a police dog and resisting arrest.
PHOTO CAPTION: Daniel Craig Wright