Lawsuit Claims Cops Let Police Dog Rip Apart Sleeping Woman's Leg, Joked That Dog Deserved "A Slurpee!"

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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.