A woman, who was attacked by a Minnesota cop’s K9 as she was taking out her trash in September, filed a lawsuit against the officer on Wednesday.
St Paul police officer Thaddeus P Schmidt was walking with his K9, Gabe on September 23, when the dog viciously latched on to Desiree Collins’ right arm, according to the Star Tribune.
According to the suit, Gabe, a five-year-old German shepherd ignored more than 10 commands from Schmidt and two other officers demanding he release Collins.
Horrifying video of the shocking incident was released on Thursday. The video shows the moment that Collins was viciously attacked.
In the video, the dog is seen walking on its leash about 20 feet in front of Schmidt when it turns a corner.
Within a matter of seconds, Collins is heard screaming as the dog grabs onto her arm. She immediately falls to the ground as the cops run over to command Gabe off of her.
He doesn’t listen and instead for about 30 seconds the dog continues to rip into Collins’ arm.
One of the officers grabs the victim’s hand and tells her that ‘you’re fine’ as the other officer shouts commands at the dog.
‘Please help me!’ the woman screams as the dog pulls on her arm once more before one of the officers pulls him off of her.
The officers are then seen helping the woman to her feet. Collins is heard asking ‘what did I do to him?’ to which one of the officers responds: ‘Nothing you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
After helping Collins, the officers called in medics to treat her wounds.
According to the lawsuit, the injuries that Collins sustained required hospitalization.
She suffered a bite wound to her lower left leg and multiple bites to her right arm during attack, according to the suit.
‘What you have here is a completely innocent person taking out their garbage… and a K-9 simply wasn’t controlled,’ one of Collins’ attorneys, Andrew Noel told the Tribune. ‘It should never have happened.’
On Thursday, police Chief Todd Axtell said in a written statement to the Tribune that the incident was a ‘terrible accident that should not have occurred’.
‘I am sorry it happened and that she was injured. As a department, we wish we could go back and do things differently. Unfortunately, we can’t.
‘What we can do is apologize and take responsibility… and learn from the incident so we can continue to work to prevent it from happening to anyone else,’ Axtell added.
Schmidt was suspended for a day over the attack.
According to the Tribune, the bite occurred while Schmidt and Gabe were searching for two males suspected of a home burglary. The incident occurred around 6.30am.
The lawsuit alleges that Schmidt violated Collins’ Fourth Amendment right to be free of excessive force and unreasonable seizure.
It also alleges that Gabe’s long lead ‘greatly reduced’ Schmidt’s control of the dog.
Her lawyer, Noel, said that Collins is ‘struggling emotionally with this incident’ because she also has to deal with not having her left hand.
Collins’ left hand was amputated when she was a child. She currently receives counseling.
She is suing for unspecified punitive damages and changes in training, policies and procedures in St Paul’s use of K-9s.
Schmidt joined the department in 1998. He and Gabe remain on duty in the K9 unit.