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.