Police in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, were called on Feb. 5 by an unidentified woman who said that a person wearing a black coat was in her backyard.
When police arrived on the scene, they saw someone in a nearby shed, demanded that person come out, and then turned loose a police dog, which attacked an 82-year-old Hmong grandmother, notes City Pages.
Choua Xiong was working in her own shed on her own property, but because of her hearing problems, didn't hear the commands from the officers, who turned the dog loose on her.
After being attacked by the police dog, Choua was taken to a nearby hospital where her grandson, WaamXee Xiong, tried to find out from a police officer how his elderly relative was mistaken for a burglar.
The Coon Rapids Police Department issued a statement on their Facebook page on Feb. 6, but didn't explain why the senior was attacked by the K-9 unit:
The department understands there is public concern on social media about the way this incident appears at first glance. However, with the facts the officers were dealing with at the time, including dispatch information and assessment of the scene, they responded to the incident in an appropriate manner.
Officers are trained to speak clear, simple commands in the hopes that officers can be understood when they are dealing with people on calls. It is always our goal to have a safe outcome for all citizens and officers, no matter the circumstances.
WaamXee told City Pages that his grandmother attempted to fight off the police dog, but was bitten on her wrist. She also reportedly suffered injuries when police dragged her to a police car.
"They didn’t see her in the storage," WaamXee recalled. "They just see the flashlight. That’s what they told us. If you don’t see nothing and you just see some people inside, why did you let your K-9 go in there?"