FRIDLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - A Fridley Police K9 officer bit and injured a man who was already lying on his stomach in handcuffs following a reported burglary in May 2016, according to a lawsuit recently filed in federal court.
Drone footage from the Anoka County Sheriff's Department shows a portion of the incident, during which Trevor Olesen of Ham Lake says he suffered "severe wounds" to his right thigh and knee that required extensive medical attention.
He's now seeking compensation and extra training for the officer and his K9, hoping to prevent another incident like this from happening again.
"This was obviously a very traumatizing incident," said Katie Bennett, a lawyer for Oleson. "It's still early in the process ... he just doesn't want this happening to anyone else."
The Fridley Police Department did not immediately return a call for comment.
A man is suing the Fridley Police department after being bitten and injured by a K9 officer while being arrested. The entire incident was caught on video by an Anoka County Sheriff's Department drone https://t.co/XU6NnZ4ebN— FOX 9 (@FOX9) January 31, 2018
*Warning: Graphic footage* pic.twitter.com/qy5bLuHXPS
Just before 8:30 p.m. on May 26, 2016, according to the lawsuit, officers were called to a home under construction in Oak Grove for a reported burglary in progress. Two suspects were identified by police, but no report of a weapon was made.
One of the suspects was apprehended soon after while Officer Tom Roddy and his K9, "Jax," a three-and-a-half year old Malinois that had been with the department for nearly one year, went searching for the other man.
In the course of their search Roddy and Jax found 22-year-old Olesen in a nearby dumpster, ordering him to climb out and lay on the ground. Anoka County Sheriff's Deputy Shipman, whose first name was not listed in the lawsuit, grabbed Olesen as he was exiting the dumpster and took him to the ground.
According to the lawsuit Olesen complied with the orders and was handcuffed before being attacked by the dog, though in his report Shipman writes, "[Olesen] tensed up and pulled back, and at that point Roddy deployed Jax. The bite was successful."
The entire incident lasted roughly 23 seconds, during which Roddy attempts to use both of his hands to "choke" Jax off his bite, something Olesen says only made him clamp down harder. Officer Roddy then activated the dog's shock collar to no avail, eventually pulling Jax off after a few more seconds--along with a section of Olesen's pants.
Despite being charged and convicted for the burglary, the lawsuit alleges Roddy violated Olesen's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights through improper use of a police K9.
The suit also claims that both Roddy and Jax were improperly trained under state law.