A Henderson, Nevada, police K-9 attacked a 17-month-old baby while her father was being questioned by officers (video below).
“My baby,” Arturo Arenas-Alvarez says in the video, as the Belgian Maltese police K-9 runs towards his SUV in the parking lot. “I’ve got my baby.”
"There's an infant in that car! There's an infant in that car!" an officer yells to his colleagues.
It was too late.
The dog had already entered the vehicle and bitten Arenas-Alvarez’s daughter, Ayleen, on the arm.
“Check on the baby,” an officer says.
The deafening screams of Ayleen can be heard in the background as officers assist the child.
The attack left her with nine punctures or abrasions, but without serious injury, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the family’s lawyer said.
The officers knew Arenas-Alvarez was not the robbery suspect they were looking for, because before the dog attacked the child, one of the officers can heard saying in the video, “That’s not him dude, that’s not a black man in a black shirt,” as he approached their vehicle with his hands raised.
Arenas-Alvarez was driving a vehicle with the same basic color and description as the suspect: a red SUV.
Officers also told him he was not a suspect, even though he was being detained, before the dog was released to search his vehicle.
Police Chief Patrick Moers said the dog, released by Sgt. James Mitchell, was used too quickly.
"In my opinion, the dog was used too fast," Moers told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The incident occurred in January, and it took eight months for the video to be released to the press.
Mitchell has since been moved from K-9 to patrol, and his dog assigned to a new officer. No policy changes have been made in the department following the incident, according to Moers. An internal investigation was completed in July, but its findings have not been released.
The city of Henderson settled the lawsuit brought against it by the family, paying $13,000. A total of $8,537.69 was deposited into the child’s bank account after legal fees were paid. It cannot be withdrawn without a court order.
The last dog bite claim received by the Henderson Police Department occurred in 2011.