Most people in Illinois would agree that police dogs play an important role in law enforcement. However, even despite their training, they may act unpredictably or accidentally identify an innocent target. Unfortunately, a woman in another state claims that she suffered multiple dog bites in an attack by a police dog while she was taking out her garbage.
The incident happened at approximately 6:30 a.m. According to reports, police had been called to the area following a burglary. Several officers, including one with a K-9 were at the scene, looking for suspects. The officer is said to have had the dog on a leash that was 20 feet long.
While out of sight of his handler, the dog reportedly clamped onto the woman's arm, knocking her down. It is said to have ignored multiple commands from its handler and other officers. Attempts to end the attack through the use of a shock collar were also unsuccessful. In all, the attack is said to have lasted 30 seconds, resulting in bite injuries to the woman's leg and arm. The incident was captured on the officers' body cam.
In the lawsuit resulting from the incident, the woman is not only asking for punitive damages but is also requesting changes to the department's procedures regarding the use of K-9's to help ensure that others do not fall victim to a similar attack. Unfortunately, this case appears to illustrate that even well-trained animals can act unexpectedly when not properly handled. Often, victims of dog bites in Illinois choose to seek recompense through a civil court as this woman is attempting to do.
Source: New York Post, "Police dog mauls innocent woman", Yaron Steinbuch, Dec. 8, 2017