Police dogs are well known for their ability to catch people who have committed crimes. A problem occurs, however, when the police dog catches someone who isn’t wanted by the police. A lawsuit filed in Florida sheds light on police dogs and mistaken identity.
The Orlando Police Department has been sued by a 19-year-old man who asserts that he was dragged from his bicycle by a police officer who mistook him for a robbery suspect. The cop then allowed his police dog to attack the man.
When the incident occurred on March 31, 2013, the officer was looking for a robbery suspect who was identified as a Hispanic man. The officer thought that the man was the suspect. The officer says that the man didn’t stop when he was instructed to, but that the other man riding a bike with the dog attack victim did stop.
The man was initially charged with resisting arrest without violence, but the case closed without him being prosecuted. As a result of the attack, the man suffered scrapes and cuts on his shoulder, head and leg. He also had dog bites on his legs and arms. The incident traumatized the man. In the lawsuit, the dog and he handler are listed as defendants.
Being bitten by a dog is a horrible experience. The medical bills and suffering can often become overwhelming. Anyone who has been bitten by a dog might be able to seek compensation like this man has done. Knowing the applicable Florida laws might make it easier to understand how a civil lawsuit would proceed and what liability a dog’s owner has in such a case.
Source: Opposing Views, “Florida Teen Wrongly Arrested In K-9 Attack, Files Lawsuit Against Orlando Police Department” Khier Casino, Apr. 22, 2014