Lawsuit Claims Cops Let Police Dog Rip Apart Sleeping Woman's Leg, Joked That Dog Deserved "A Slurpee!"
A K9 police officer standing with his partner with their patrol car in the background.
Photo Credit: John Roman Images/Shutterstock.com
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A Utah resident is suing police from Greater Salt Lake because cops allegedly allowed a dog to rip apart her leg, causing the leg to break and suffer tissue damage. Courthouse News Service’s Jonny Bonner reports that police allegedly watched their dog attack Katie Hess after she fell asleep, and then as Hess was bleeding, yanked her on her feet and arrested her.
The attack is detailed in a lawsuit Hess has filed against Salt Lake County, the police department there and police chief James Winder and officer Kevin Barrett, who is the dog’s handler.
According to the lawsuit, the incident started in a Utah suburb in May 2012. Hess and friend named Gavin DeGraw called for a taxi from an Arby’s restaurant after one of their bikes broke down.
But the taxi driver did not want to put the bikes in the back of the car, and an argument ensued. DeGraw called the taxi driver, who was Arab, a racial epithet. A fight broke out, with the taxi driver wailing on DeGraw. Hess called for both of them to stop. Though DeGraw told his friend to go home, Hess heard sirens and decided to stick around.
Hess went near a high school and sat down. Then, she passed out--only to be awakened when a dog began to bite her. Police officers approached the area and took no action as Hess screamed for the dog to stop.
One of the officers ordered Hess to stand up, but she couldn’t because the dog injured her leg. One cop became “enraged” and then dragged her and threw her on the grass. The police officer handcuffed her.
Chunks of Hess’ muscle were sticking out, and one of the officers also ripped her jeans and exposed Hess.
What’s even worse is that after the dog attack, a cop over the police dispatcher allegedly said things like, “‘you two rock,' 'Wish we had instant photos in here!,' 'Severe trauma to the leg?,' 'Awesome extra treat for Vortex and you deserve a Slurpee!'"
Hess wants $3 million in damages for “wrongful arrest, failure to train and excessive force,” the Courthouse News Service reports.