Dog bite attorneys remind the public that police canines are very powerful weapons, and should be regarded just like any other dangerous weapon. Robert Ray is a prime example of the serious dangers associated with vicious dog bites. As NBC News reports, Ray was on his way to meet a friend for dinner just two days before Christmas. As he took a short cut through an Anaheim business center, Ray found himself in the midst of an active burglary. The police quickly arrived on the scene, and Ray thought he heard them ask him to step out of his vehicle. Ray exited his truck and was abruptly met by the Department’s German Sheppard, who attacked him for at least one minute.
Ray suffered injuries that necessitated a full seven-day stay in the hospital and required dozens of stitches. He claims that the dog attacked him for more than 60 seconds as officers looked on, even claiming that an officer held the dog as it bit his arm. The Anaheim Police Department, however, tells a very different story.
Officers present at the scene claim that they immediately warned Ray about the dog’s presence and told him not to exit his vehicle. They relay that Ray began walking away from the scene and that they gave him legal commands to stop walking, to which he did not oblige. One sergeant said Ray fought back against the dog, punching him several times, although Ray claims he merely pushed the dog away with his feet. Fortunately, a surveillance camera recorded the attack and will be used in the course of the investigation.
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Currently, the only fact known for certain is the damage caused by the German Sheppard – a full week’s stay in the hospital and dozens of stitches. Police canines are trained to attack during in-progress crime scenes such as the one Ray accidentally drove into. Innocent bystanders are, unfortunately, needlessly attacked in similar scenarios.
Anaheim residents are all too familiar with that fact. In July 2012, in a protest in the streets of downtown Anaheim, police lost control of a dog that attacked at least one resident. The violent protest was sparked by the fatal shooting of an Anaheim man by police officers. Police Chief John Welter apologized for the attack and claims the department will pay for any medical costs.
The dog escaped from the squad car and ran into a demonstrating crowd. Susan Lopez had her infant child with her in a stroller when the dog started scratching and biting at her. Ultimately, the dog bit only one man in the arm, and did not harm the child. The police canine was again a German Sheppard, although it is not clear whether it was the same dog that attacked Robert Ray.
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Incidents of dog bites can occur in a number of situations, even when the dog is known and trusted. If you or a loved one should suffer a dog bite, remember to seek medical attention immediately. Bites left unattended lead to infection and further injury. Victims must quickly identify the dog and its owner, as the owner is usually the party held liable for any injuries. Photographs of the injuries, dog, and site should be taken. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after the bite is also extremely important.
Dog bite lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will help you determine if an insurance settlement is fair. Incidents like those occurring in Anaheim should not be tolerated. If you or someone you love was the victim of a dog bite attack, it is important that you know your legal rights.