Student injured by K-9 officer

Monday, October 21, 2013

An 11-year-old male student has been treated for "minor injuries" sustained following a bite from a Brazil Police Department K-9 officer at the Red Ribbon Awareness week kick-off event at the Clay County Courthouse Thursday, officials said.

According to a report submitted by the K-9 officer's handler, Ray Walters, the young man was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for treatment following the incident.

"It was an unfortunate accident," said Brazil Police Chief Clint McQueen. "Wish it hadn't happened like that but it did. We are trying to evaluate (the incident) to make sure nothing like this happens again."

According to the report, the officer and his K-9 partner, Max, as well as another K-9 team were requested by Clay County Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers to carry out a simulated raid of a party with actors in place to help "educate the Clay County fifth-graders on drug awareness."

He added the juveniles in the scenario met with officers prior to the start and were asked to remain still when the dogs searched for narcotics.

McQueen said a very small amount of illegal drugs were hidden on one of the juveniles to show how the dogs can find even the smallest trace of an illegal substance. He added all this was done "under exclusive control and supervision of members of the court and law enforcement." Four scenarios were carried out that day with the incident occurring during the third scenario.

"As I got closer to the actors, Max began searching the juveniles," according to the officer's report. "The first male juvenile began moving his legs around as Max searched him. When the male began moving his legs, (this is what) I believe prompted Max's action to bite the male juvenile on the left calf."

McQueen said the result was minor puncture wounds to the leg.

The other K-9 officer met with Walters after the incident and said that several other children involved in the scenario saw the young man shake his legs when Max approached.

The report then stated the officer immediately shouted, "Oust," the German command for release, and after a few seconds, Max released his bite and ran behind the officer. The officer said he quickly exited with the K-9 officer after.

McQueen said the incident was not anything "out of control," but just a quick reaction by the dog to the young man's sudden movement.

According to the officer's report, the juvenile was transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital. He immediately followed and spoke with the mother.

"(The mother) was very calm and polite," the officer's reported stated. "She asked me what had happened and I explained exactly as I have here in my report. She replied with 'it's OK, accidents happen.' She stated that her son was very tough and everything would be fine."

McQueen said the K-9 officer has to follow the same procedure as with any other dog bite. The dog has been taken out of service until test results from a veterinarian are returned.

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  • I'd say that is an excellent response by the mother. I'd like to think I would have been as equally gracious.

    -- Posted by brazilian on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 4:48 PM
  • The "minor" bite required surgery. The gashes were very deep and extensive. The dog was not under control. I know this was an accident but it was not a minor event whatsoever.

    -- Posted by localgal on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 5:34 PM
  • First of all "a minor injury"???? Last time I knew a dog taking a chunk out of a child's leg is no "minor injury"!!! Yes this was an unfortunate accident. However, it's one that should have NEVER happened!!! You would think when you send a child on a field trip to a courthouse, to be around officers, judges, and k-9 police dogs the child would be safe. Ha not in this town. This story also states that the kids were to remain still while the dog searched them. It didn't state that they had 2 children laying on the ground next to each other and the poor child moved his leg to let Max through and he was attacked!!! I guess I didn't realize the dog was supposed to attack from movement instead on command. Even crazier is this poor child didn't even have anything hidden on him. They had the dog "under control" so tell me why it took 2 officers plus 1 more prying that dogs mouth open to get the dog off of him? Also the officer shouted "oust" to get the dog off of him? Max responded after a few seconds. Imagine how much pain that poor child felt for a few seconds of 240-800 pounds of pressure biting his leg!!!! This poor little guy is very good friends with my son and I pray for him and his family.

    -- Posted by Suziehomemaker on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 6:29 PM
  • One more thing..... brazil times if you are going to report a story, you probably should at least talk to the victims family. Shouldn't you get your facts straight before " reporting" your story?

    -- Posted by Suziehomemaker on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 8:08 PM
  • This is a fine example of a news media being told what to print by "the powers that be." Of course, I cannot prove this; it is merely my opinion based upon circumstantial evidence. But in a town like Brazil, and with a story like this, what else can we think? I can't say that I'm surprised by the ineptitude of this "story", and a story is exactly what it is. It is one-sided, and inaccurate. I don't know which is more ridiculous - this story, or the news bit that ran on channel 2 tonight. Both of these media make it out to the reader/viewer that this incident was the fault of the victim, who in fact, has had dogs all of his life and knows how to act around them. I know this boy personally, have introduced him to new and "Strange" dogs I have adopted, and I have seen his wounds from this attack. This is NO MINOR puncture wound. This is a SERIOUS injury that could easily have crippled this child if only a variable or two had shifted the tiniest bit. I have a dog comparable in size to Max, and I KNOW what a canine like this can do, and how powerful they are.

    To be blunt,the description of this boy's injuries in this media is an outright LIE. Minor puncture wounds DO NOT require surgical intervention, nor leave such horrible marks.

    My next questions are multiple, and I will try to make them short:

    If a canine officer is regarded the same as a human one with respect to assault by a human, then what are the consequences for Max? What would a human officer be charged with if he were "to make a mistake" and attack a child?

    If I were to grab a kid and inflict a wound such as this, with what would "I" be charged?!

    Next, how did this happen with a supposedly properly trained dog and/or handler? I believe this is an area which calls for further investigation, certainly, to prevent something like this from happening again.

    Your demonstration in question here does not inspire faith,and while I do not intend to insult the handler, I am sure I am not the only one that believes we need to see more on this.

    Next, can we get some info from the 'school' that trains these dogs? Was Max properly trained? Or did the town "get took" when they got him?

    Next, what would the consequences be for a citizen like me, were MY dog to attack a child like this? My guess would be, as with other stories I have seen on various media, that my dog would be quarantined for a period of time, and then destroyed.

    Yet Channel 2 reports that Max will be right back at work eventually?

    I simply ask that, in the future, you keep this animal away from children, as he's certainly proven what he's capable of. Frankly, I am angry beyond belief that this happened - but I am even angrier with the news media for presenting a sugar-coated "blame the kid" story about this. Remember, folks, there were witnesses. Plenty of them. The truth is known, and you didn't present it. I believe a retraction, or at least, another more accurate story is in order.

    -- Posted by BKL8008 on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 9:04 PM
  • Has this dog been quarantined to test for rabies?

    If not, WHY not?

    Will the dog be put down as dangerous regardless of the test results?

    If not, WHY not?

    NO properly trained and handled dog would ever do such a thing. Who is responsible for this vicious attack on a small child? The dog trainer? The officer in charge? The police department? Clay City?

    If the family decides to sue for damages, I would expect a very large cash settlement for pain and injury. In California, we would be talking of a million dollars or more. What will happen in Indiana for such an incident? Do they care about citiizens, or only the "authorities"???

    -- Posted by TWJ on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 10:01 PM
  • So bkl8008 if you know the family so well then you would know that the mother asked that max not be put down or taken off the force.

    -- Posted by knhauser06 on Mon, Oct 21, 2013, at 11:17 PM
  • Am I to understand that a trace amount of an illegal substance was placed on the person of child to show a group of children how a K-9 can detect trace amounts of illegal substances? Thankfully, according to the report this was done, "under exclusive control and supervision of members of the court and law enforcement." You seriously have to be kidding me! You could not have placed the trace amount on members of the court or another law enforcement officer? Poor judgment on law enforcement and the court does not constitute blaming a youth or an animal trained to react to certain stimuli.

    Wake up Clay County there is a bigger issue here than an animal reactions to a fidgety child! The issue is the poor judgment shown by those who are being paid to serve and protect. Both the animal and child are victims of poor judgment and that is the real crime that was committed. The question is who had given permission, knowing what the K-9 is capable of, to allow children to be placed in such a questionable position.

    If what the Brazil Times has posted in this case is accurate (we often have to question this), then the Mayor Wyndham needs to proceed with an immediate investigation of the City of Brazil's Police Department. That being said, since this is Clay County and the Chief McQueen serves at the Mayor's pleasure, I do not see this happening. It appears the City of Brazil, will simply blame the circumstances of a fidgety child and an excited, but well-trained dog. We understand that had the child not moved then the dog would not have bitten him. Well, don't place trace amounts of illegal substances on children and maybe this won't happen again.

    "educate the Clay County fifth-graders on drug awareness." I think the only thing the kids learned was Judge Aikers and the City of Brazil Police Department made a poor decision. I find no reason that these parents should not sue the City of Brazil, they have every right to ask for compensation and evaluation of it's training programs.

    "It was an unfortunate accident," said Brazil Police Chief Clint McQueen. "Wish it hadn't happened like that but it did. We are trying to evaluate (the incident) to make sure nothing like this happens again." Well, don't place drugs on kids and maybe, just maybe, the dog won't fill the need to strike.

    -- Posted by WickedSpring64 on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 4:24 AM
  • This is a very unfortunate accident. Accident being the key word here. The Brazil Times is reporting the story with the information that has been provided to them. If you want an investigative report, hire an investigator-they are reporting the news as they receive it. Poor child.

    -- Posted by Moon on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 8:05 AM
  • In reply to knhauser06, that is her prerogative and she is entitled to it. (In the mother requesting the dog NOT be destroyed).

    Nowhere in my post do I say "take this dog out and kill it". You apparently read this in. I was simply stating my observations of past incidents, and how they could apply here, if all things were equal. But we know that all things are not equal. After all, we are only "we the people."

    Now, you can read into this post whatever you wish. You can post whatever you wish. The latter is guaranteed by the First Amendment, at least, for the time being. The former assures critical thinking.

    Lastly, we are all entitled to our opinions. And my opinion is that putting this dog back into service is a mistake, and that your response to me was quite unfounded and rude.

    -- Posted by BKL8008 on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 9:36 AM
  • Lastly, we are all entitled to our opinions. And my opinion is that putting this dog back into service is a mistake, and that your response to me was quite unfounded and rude.

    BKL8008- Maybe we should take the officers who though this was a good idea and put them on administrative leave along with the dog until an investigation is completed.

    The though of placing small amounts of drugs on children and having them placed on the ground with an active K-9 (when they know what the animal is capable of during training) seems to be a bad call. Moreover, I hope a Northview or North Clay student does not get too fidgety when the dogs come in for the annual drug sweep!

    I only hope the Brazil Fire Department does not "accidently" decide to set a child on fire to educate them on the dangers of fire when it comes time to "Stop Drop and Roll!!!

    -- Posted by WickedSpring64 on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 12:17 PM
  • Maybe we should ban field trips to prevent things like this from happening.

    -- Posted by EarlofCheese on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 2:57 PM
  • I am still shaking my head at this story and wondering why on Earth it ever seemed like a good idea to involve children in a "simulated" event in which there was even a remote chance they could be injured. I obviously do not think that anyone involved in this event ever thought about a worst-case scenario and certainly would never wish this to happen to a child. However, the irresponsible comment regarding the injured child having moved, then follow-up commentary about other spectators seeing him move, implies that this horrible accident was the fault of the child. Frankly, that child could have had raw meat strapped to his chest and been kicking wildly and a trained police dog should have continued to sit idly by. Telling a child not to move is like telling an adult not to breath. It troubles me that anyone would call this type of incident "minor injury." This child has endured major bite wounds requiring surgery and an overnight stay in the hospital, as well as continued follow-up with a specialist. This is a nice family with a mother trying to shield her child from any more harm or scrutiny, and has been rational about knowing that accidents happen. A candid apology and validation that this wasn't a good idea, as well as assurance that this won't take place in the future, would have gone a long way. Mis-quotes and blaming a CHILD for moving just don't sit well in my opinion. In moving forward, I hope that Brazil officials and Brazil Times staff go out of their way to acknowledge this was an unfortunate incident, that the child was ABSOLUTELY not to blame, and that future endeavors will accompany a plan that takes worst-case scenario into effect.

    -- Posted by WorriedMommy on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 4:20 PM
  • In response to WorriedMommy and WickedSpring, I agree with you. I love Wicked's idea about the fire department; a very good analogy.

    As for EarlofCheese, please arm yourself before getting into a battle of wits.

    Tonight, in the newest story, the same lies are repeated again. I guess if you print it enough times, they think it becomes the truth eventually?

    After reading through this again, I have come to this conclusion - forget the dog. He's fired.

    Take all the "responsible adults" involved in this fiasco to the vet and have THEM put to sleep.

    -- Posted by BKL8008 on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 8:01 PM
  • *

    Who plants drugs on a 5th grade child and then sick's an attack dog on them anyway? That was way past stupid! Better call Jerry Springer for that circus stunt. At least the dog didn't go for his neck thank God. I would have to say this was the fault of Brazil's finest. The dog was just doing his job. He didn't know they were setting the child up.

    -- Posted by sslack1971 on Wed, Oct 23, 2013, at 1:54 PM
  • This was just an incredibly stupid idea on the parts of all parties. Makes me even happier I recently chose to homeschool. My child has special needs and would not be able to stand still... do I need to worry about being in public with her in this town where an 'officer' behaves this way and will I'm sure be put back on the streets? No I don't believe it's the dog's fault but he's obviously had poor training. I don't want him near my children or on my streets. What if this had been a real 'sting' on a party? The K-9 did not do his job properly. Would someone be bitten for being nervous around dogs?

    -- Posted by Autism Mom on Wed, Oct 23, 2013, at 5:44 PM
  • The kid was being a kid and he did nothing wrong. The dog didn't do anything wrong, either. It's trained to 'bite' when a 'suspect' moves. Dogs don't know the difference between innocence and suspect - nor do they care - that's their handlers responsibility.

    Does that mean this was a good idea? Obviously not. If it wasn't your child, don't worry about the decisions these parents made regarding the dog. Sounds like they made a smart one (without turning a dog into a human being with malice, aforethought and now a danger to society) - had that been the case, he wouldn't have stopped with one bite) to me - since we're all throwing our opinions out there.

    The handler should be held accountable as much as the school and anyone else who thought this was a good idea. Period.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Oct 24, 2013, at 11:33 AM
  • Please realize that we have only heard what people think the family feels and said. We have not heard their side whatsoever so please don't assume. I really don't understand why people have a need to blame a little boy. This all comes down to adults making poor choices, mistakes, and putting an animal in a position it never should have been put in.

    We need to be concerned about an injured child and how to protect kids going forward from here.

    Stop the silly extremes and blame shifting.

    -- Posted by localgal on Thu, Oct 24, 2013, at 4:20 PM
  • The important thing is the childrens all learned a valuable lesson: law enforcement isn't always your friend and sometimes hurts you for no good reason.

    The More You Know. [Insert shooting star here]

    -- Posted by Tigolebitties on Thu, Oct 24, 2013, at 4:46 PM
  • BKL8008, This is hardly a forum for a battle of wits. You obviously have a problem with how this story was covered. Instead of voicing your opinion as a random person in a comments section, why not actually do something about it? I believe there is such thing as a city council meeting in Brazil once a month where this could occur.

    As for the dog not being properly trained. I had this exact same scenario in a class Judge Akers taught at ISU. Drugs were planted without knowledge, the dog was brought in, and no one was injured.

    My point is that accidents happen. The Brazil Police Department have enough problems without having to worry about you telling everyone to stay away from the police and their dogs.

    -- Posted by EarlofCheese on Fri, Oct 25, 2013, at 6:11 AM
  • Times it's the 5 W'S thing

    -- Posted by twolong1short on Fri, Oct 25, 2013, at 1:51 PM
  • just one more reason this modern day witch hunt (the war on drugs) needs to come to a dead-end.

    -- Posted by nepalnt21 on Fri, Oct 25, 2013, at 11:37 PM
  • I agree. What great mind decided to plant a controlled substance on a child and then tell them not to move? It wasnt the dogs fault. He did exactly what he was trained to do. Lets see I think it was the great Blaine Akers. Sue him he made it happen!!!!!

    -- Posted by beachbunny on Sun, Oct 27, 2013, at 9:23 PM
  • While this educational effort might prove beneficial to many, for those of us who've never used drugs and who are very anxious around dogs, these situations are mega uncomfortable.

    -- Posted by Capt on Mon, Oct 28, 2013, at 11:31 AM
  • Whose the genius who thought this one up? Why would you expose children to this simulated police state behavior, let alone allow one to be attacked. I hope there are several lawsuits stemming from this event.

    -- Posted by JustinK on Mon, Oct 28, 2013, at 1:43 PM
  • I'm not sure WHAT the cops were thinking, that is so dangerous and so stupid, I'm pretty shocked. What 5th grader that you know can stand still, especially if a dog is sniffing around them!!! Irresponsible!! I hope the mother of the boy does more than just say, "It's okay, mistakes happen". The boy could have been permanently disfigured or worse.

    -- Posted by LaBorn on Mon, Oct 28, 2013, at 8:36 PM
  • Note to Brazil Times: No prizes for your reporting on this one. Police Chief says "its an unfortunate accident". This was straight-up negligence, not accident.

    Others (other Law Enforcement Professionals) comment here:

    The 'takeaway' from this incident? Now everybody in your fine city understands that your Police plant drugs on otherwise unsuspecting folks.

    Here are a few comments from professional LEO's (pasted from above site):

    That is totally unbelievable. My pup never showed any aggression, but, during demos, I never let the kids pet him on the head, only on the body, and I knelt and held his head. You never know what a kid has been around that is going to set the K9 off. But, on the other hand, to put the aid on a kid and actually search the kids---

    totally STUPID! You don't conduct searches on people in real world, so why do you do it in demos?

    The officers involved in the above stories, YOU ARE A BUNCH OF F'king IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Turn in your Badge....No Excuses along with the Agency ,"Heads" allowing these demonstrations, should get Their heads out of their , *****!!!

    This is really stupid, once again we are our worst enemy! No wonder people think cops are stupid.

    -- Posted by Just Askin' on Sat, Nov 2, 2013, at 2:07 PM
  • I am sorry this happened to a child. However to bad everyone here doesn't act as well as the parents of the child. The dog is trained, it did what they are trained to do. I cant imagine people wanting a dog put down because of this. I bet you wouldn't want it put down if it saved your child's life if your child was taken hostage, or your husband was a police officer and it went in in front of him and saved his life taking a bullet. Or found large amounts of drugs that would have ended up on the streets maybe in your child's hands. different feeling then. The only mistake I see is they shouldn't have had the dog there to begin with. They could have used a video, at least the animal part, whatever they needed, but I believe a well trained dog, is not a pet, shouldn't be used to show children what happens when stopped for drugs. This was not the dogs fault. And the dog is in quarantine as the paper stated. For goodness sake people, some don't like the police, I understand, but get real, kill an animal, put in in jail, hang it whatever because it did its job. No maybe request this not be allowed again. And the first thing out of your mouths. Law suit. This is exactly why there are so many law suits. Think before you speak, you may be sued next. Seems we should leave this to the parent. And yes maybe did require surgery, that's terrible and traumatized the tough little boy as his Mom described him, again these dogs are trained, not to just show teeth, but to protect, to stop criminals, to kill in some cases if needed. They are not pets. this is why when an officer says stop, don't move, we should not. I am not a police officer, I don't know these officers or the dog, I am just using common sense and trying to be realistic. Mom you showed dignity and maturity and I am sure your Son will when he is a grown up with such a good teacher.

    I know I am being or will be called all kinds of names accused of being a cop lover here for voicing my opinion, but I am doing it. You all did your negativity, but please remember this when God forbid, your school would become in a hostage situation, or a bomb situation, or a home invasion situation, wouldn't you want this dog to know what to do, if his trainer or partner was down ??>?? I for one would for sure. And unlike you I believe the town or county got their monies worth and the dog was very well trained, to do what it was to do, and that was not to act. Or be protect actors.SO I am done venting, I do hope you all re access this situation. And truly think about what a undertrained dog could do in a bad situation, sorry I wouldn't want a dossal dog protecting my family in a bad situation, but I would never allow my child to attend a staged program like his either, so parents maybe its your fault the incident happened, just saying..think about it that way.. we cant do everything in life perfect, accidents happen, well said Mom.

    -- Posted by indianaharleygirl on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 9:21 AM
  • Recently on the news an officer shot someone because he thought the person had a real gun. He wasnt taken off duty because he was mistaken. Why should Titus be taken out of service for finding drugs and reacting like hes supposed to in a REAL situation. He hasnt been taught that his handler might trick him.

    The reason no one was hurt in a school presentation with adults was nobody moved. If the child hadnt moved everything would have gone as planned. So again I have to ask why would you plant drugs on a wiggly child and tell em not to move. We as adults have to contain our seleves when we see a sign that says dont touch. A child told not to move is a disaster waiting to happen. I was told police didnt want to do this but who knew better than Akers. GOOD JOB!!!!

    -- Posted by beachbunny on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 9:38 PM
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