The Fridley Police Department is reviewing their K-9 program following two major incidents. An officer’s dog attacked him over the weekend, leading to possible changes in the way the police department trains their K-9 unit animals.
The same officer involved in the incident was named in a lawsuit in which the victim, a burglary suspect, claims that the officer allowed the K-9 to attack him even though the man was on the ground and handcuffed.
Police responded to an incident in Anoka County in May 2016. The lawsuit claims that one suspect was arrested without incident, while the other, Trevor Olesen, was found hiding in a dumpster.
Olesen claims that he complied with officers, but Tom Roddy released his canine dog which attacked the suspect. Olesen admits to burglarizing the home, but his attorneys claim that the man was left with gaping wounds by the K-9. The officer, Mr. Roddy, reportedly had the dog under control before letting him loose.
Roddy claims that it is at his discretion to deploy the K-9 and that he made the decision after Olesen resisted being arrested.
The K-9 was with Roddy over the weekend, tracking another burglary suspect when the animal bit Roddy. The police officer claims that he slipped on the icy stairs with his leg falling in front of the K-9 named Jax. Jax then bit Roddy’s leg.
“There are nearly a hundred million pet dogs in the United States. On average, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites annually, with children representing the majority of victims. According to estimates, dog bite injuries have increased by 33 percent in the last decade,” claims injury attorney Kevin P. Justen.
Roddy is expected to fully recover from the incident and return to work soon.
The police department states that they will review their K-9 training program and look into Jax’s performance to determine if any changes should be made to their training program.
The city’s director of public safety, Brian Weierke made a statement regarding the incident. “The injury is unfortunate,’ he said. “We never want to use force, and when it is required, we do our best to use only the minimum force necessary in response to the suspect’s action.”
In an unrelated incident, a 17-year-old girl in Manatee County is suing a local veterinarian after being attacked by the professional’s dog. Pali, a dog well=known in the community, is the face of animal rights after being saved from being euthanized.
The black Labrador mix is accused of two prior attacks: one involving a service dog and one involving a child.
An employee at the veterinarian’s office, Tianna Barr, claims that Pali attacked her to the point that the dog had to be pulled off of her. She was left with serious injuries following the attack. The lawsuit claims that Barr is seeking $15,000 and is left with severe scarring and a significant loss in bodily function.
Barr claims that the dog’s owner didn’t do enough to ensure that future attacks wouldn’t occur. Despite the animal’s history of attacks, the dog was allowed to roam freely around the animal clinic.