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March 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM

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Video: Cop dogs' miscues prove grisly, costly


Trained to "bite and hold" suspects, some K-9 patrol dogs in the Puget Sound area have bitten innocent bystanders more than once, inflicting major injuries and triggering expensive lawsuits.


A Seattle Times review of dog-bite claims from the risk managers and insurers of more than 100 Washington cities and counties shows such incidents happen several times a year in the state.


Over the past five years, at least 17 people claim they were mistakenly attacked by police dogs from Western Washington law-enforcement agencies. As a result, the agencies have paid nearly $1 million in damages, with several large claims pending.


In many cases, individual dogs are responsible for several attacks, an issue that dog trainers and experts say is a warning sign that the dog and handler might need additional training.


'This was a torture session.'


This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

GENEVIEVE ALVAREZ AND BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Mark Roberts awoke to a helicopter above his Puyallup home one night in September 2008. As he stepped outside for a closer look, he was violently attacked by K-9 Officer Vasko, a Pierce County sheriff's police dog. Read the story.





'Get him, boy! Get him, boy!'


This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

GENEVIEVE ALVAREZ AND STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Noel Saldana was walking to his sister's house after an early morning argument with his wife in June 2010, when he was attacked by Lakewood police K-9 Officer Astor who tore out a fist-sized piece of his calf. Read the story.





'Sometimes these things happen.'


This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

GENEVIEVE ALVAREZ AND STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Chad Boyles left a party at his house late on May 7, 2011. Walking through a familiar embankment in his neighborhood, he suddenly found himself trying to hold off an attack by Lakewood police K-9 Officer Astor. Read the story.







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This situation is out of hand. The officers involved need to be retrained,. Maybe the... MORE

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