Pierce County will pay a Tacoma man $225,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit arising from a May 2011 attack by a police dog while he was out for an early-morning walk. Chad Boyles reached the settlement with Pierce County, even though the injuries were inflicted by a Lakewood Police Department dog. The dog, K-9 Officer Astor, and…More
Topic: dog bite
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A federal jury has found that a Lakewood police officer and his K-9 partner did not violate the civil rights of a domestic-abuse suspect whose leg was mangled during his arrest.
The verdict came after an eight-day trial before U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma, who earlier had found there was enough evidence that Officer James Syler had used excessive force when he deployed his dog, Astor, to apprehend Noel Saldana after Saldana’s wife had called the police in June 2010. The judge also said a jury should consider whether the city deserves to be held liable for not properly monitoring and training the dog team, since Astor had been involved in several other serious bite incidents.
Lakewood argued that Syler was responding to a report of a crime and, based on statement’s by Saldana’s wife, believed he had good reason to make the arrest.
In court documents and in an interview earlier this year with The Seattle Times, the 27-year-old Saldana admitted he was intoxicated when he went to his estranged wife’s house and forced his way in, wanting to say good night to his children. Mrs. Saldana was not injured, but she called the police after he left, and the officers determined they had cause to arrest him for residential burglary. Mrs. Saldana was a plaintiff in the lawsuit as well.
Saldana said he was urinating in some bushes several blocks away when he heard a “loud voice telling me to get down.”
“I did exactly as I was told,” he said, but Astor tore into his leg.More