MINNEAPOLIS — A man attacked by a police dog while handcuffed during an arrest near Minneapolis has filed a federal lawsuit.
Trevor J. Olesen is suing the city of Fridley and police Officer Tom Roddy, alleging his constitutional rights were violated and that Roddy, who was handling the K-9, was improperly trained, The Star Tribune reported .
The lawsuit said Anoka County sheriff’s deputies were responding to a reported burglary in May 2016 and requested a K-9 to help track the suspects. Roddy responded with Jax, a Malinois that had joined the department the previous year.
Jax discovered Olesen inside a dumpster. Two deputies and Roddy surrounded the dumpster and ordered Olesen to come out. The suit said Olesen followed orders, climbed out of the dumpster and lay on the ground as a deputy handcuffed him.
Roddy wrote in his police report that he released Jax because he believed Olesen was resisting the deputy. Drone footage from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office shows Jax biting Olesen for more than 20 seconds, the suit said.
During the bite, Roddy tried to physically pull Jax off of Olesen and activated the dog’s shock collar, which had no effect, the suit said. Olesen was wounded on his right leg and continues to feel pain from the wound, according to the lawsuit.
“Olesen just doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” said Kathryn Bennett, Olesen’s attorney. “It was a pretty traumatic experience for him.”
Fridley is still reviewing the details of the lawsuit, said Brian Weierke, the city’s director of public safety.
“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.”
Olesen has pleaded guilty to burglary, Weierke said.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com