Lights & Sirens

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Lakewood police dog bites man during track in Parkland

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on May 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
May 9, 2011 3:19 pm

A Lakewood police dog bit a man early Saturday while trying to find a suspect in a domestic violence incident in Parkland.

The 25-year-old man was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma for treatment of his injuries, KIRO TV reported Sunday. He was released Sunday.

The Lakewood Police Department will be reviewing the use-of-force incident, Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler said Monday.

The Lakewood Police Department provided the following information about the incident Monday:

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were looking for a man in a domestic violence assault about 2:40 a.m. Saturday. The man left on foot in the 800 block of 134th Street South and deputies wanted to search for him using a police dog.

Lakewood police officer Jim Syler and his K-9 partner, Astor, responded. After a briefing, the dog began tracking for the suspect as Pierce County sheriff’s deputies set up a containment area.

Deputies reported seeing a possible suspect in the area of 132nd Street South and 10th Avenue South. A man was walking, then quickly disappeared.

“A deputy in the area stated that he shined his spotlight on the male, who then went off the side of the road,” a press release stated. “Another deputy that was running with the K9 Officer saw a male walk briskly across the street.”

The police dog tracked along a heavily-brushed trail toward a large, overgrown field. The dog was on a 30-foot tracking lead. The dog found the 25-year-old man on the trail and bit him on the arm.

“As soon as the handler recognized that the male being contacted was not the fleeing suspect, Astor was called off,” the press release stated.

Paramedics were called. Meanwhile, the track continued.

The domestic violence suspect later turned himself in.

The man who was bitten told a deputy he’d seen a police car nearby with its lights on. When the officer shined a spotlight on him, the man said he ducked into the bushes to avoid being seen.

“The deputy asked him why he did that and he replied that he had a party at his house nearby,” the press release stated.  “He stated the party was getting out of control and he left before he fought with someone.  He said he thought all of the police presence in the area was because something happened at his house after he left.  The deputy asked him if he thought the police in the area were looking for him and he stated he didn’t know, but they could have been.”

Lawler said Monday that Astor has not been a problem dog.

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