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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Report issued regarding K-9 bite

Sunday, November 3, 2013

In a report by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, submitted to the Clay County Commissioners, a Brazil Police Department officer said he was reluctant in participating in a skit with a K-9 officer that ending with a student being bitten.

During a staged scenario on Oct. 17, 2013, at the Clay County Courthouse, a BPD K-9 officer named Max injured a fifth-grade student while he and his handler, Officer Ray Walters, were conducting a simulated narcotics search. The scenario was part of a host of activities planned for Red Ribbon Day.

According to the report, the skit was conducted for the past several years without any incident. The scenario simulates a drug search at a "raided" party by a K-9 unit with students possessing "a small amount of marijuana hid near or on them." For the past several years, the Clay County Sheriff's Department's K-9 units performed the searches.

According to the sheriff's report, Walters said he noticed the dog "acting up" and was "nervous" about his continued participation in the scenarios.

According to a statement submitted by Walters to the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Walters shared his hesitance to be a part of the scenarios in the presence of Clay County Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers, Brazil Police Department Officer Robert Van Buren and Clay County Civil Deputy Benny Boes.

"After the second scenario, I openly expressed concern about the dope being placed on the juveniles as the K-9's can't distinguish between acting and real life," Walters said. "Both K-9's have a tendency to bite at the dope as well as individuals who move during search."

Akers, Van Buren and Boes later provided statements that they were unaware of Walters' concern about the dog's state prior to the beginning of the scenario, according to the sheriff's report.

"Judge Akers said that he would have changed the skit if he had any indication that any of the children were in any type of danger," according to the sheriff's report.

Despite his concerns, Walters' statement stated it was felt by everyone that it would be OK to continue with the next scenario.

"Walters said that Judge Akers instructed him to continue with the skit, saying that he'd done this skit numerous times and nothing had ever happened," according to the report by the sheriff's department.

There was no mention of him expressing his reluctance to be a part of the scenario or the dogs affinity to "bite at the dope" during searches in Walters' police report submitted to The Brazil Times.

In a recent submission provided by Akers, the judge told The Brazil Times "marijuana was not planted on the kids in any way." According to Van Buren's statement submitted to the sheriff's department, "Judge Akers said that two of the juveniles would have illegal narcotics on their person." In addition, a Brazil Police Department K-9 Use of Force Report stated during the scenario drugs were on the individual next to the victim.

During the third scenario, according to several submitted reports, while Max began his search of the young man, the dog bit him on the leg. Walters repeatedly yelled the command for release and pulled up on the dog's collar.

Witnesses of the bite stated the male moved his legs to allow the K-9 to sniff for drugs, according to the report, before the dog bit. It is believed that the movement of the legs is what caused Max to bite.

According to a statement submitted by Boes, he had to intervene to free the child of the dog's grasp. This was the only statement submitted to the sheriff's department citing someone having to intervene to remove the dog.

The child was then immediately taken away for medical attention at the Clay County Justice Center before being moved to a hospital for further treatment.

Following the incident the dog was taken out of service and taken to a veterinarian for tests. The Brazil Police Department is currently conducting an investigation into the matter.

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A dog handler knows his dog better ( or should ) than anyone else. To put this or remotely put this off on Judge Akers is wrong. He would in no way put a child at risk. It is the responsibility of the handler to decline further activities with the group due to safety concerns. The officer could have easily have done a talk thru vs a re enactment. It would have been a good teaching opportunity to explain the different behaviors of a working dog. Unfortunate.

-- Posted by angelinbluejeans on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 6:53 PM

This dog could not have been tested for rabies. In order to test a animal for rabies, the head must be cut off and submitted to the State Board of Health for testing. So what tests were run on this dog??

-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 7:56 PM

This dog could not have been tested for rabies. In order to be tested for rabies the head must be cut off and submitted to the State Board of Health. So exactly what tests were performed on the dog?

-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 7:59 PM

This dog could not have been tested for rabies. In order to test a animal for rabies, the head must be cut off and submitted to the State Board of Health for testing. So what tests were run on this dog??

-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 7:59 PM

Sorry did not mean to post so many times, computer glitch

-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 8:12 PM

So you are a veterinarian?

-- Posted by MS660 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 8:39 PM

Maybe the dog smelled drugs on the child from other sources, just sayin'.

-- Posted by spotdean on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 8:45 PM

Spotdean you are a fool!!!! Just sayin'

-- Posted by Suziehomemaker on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 9:20 PM

spotdean: Now that remark is just, out reaching. and should not have even been written. Of course you will respond with a ??? STUPID REMARK.

Judge Akers would NOT Knowingly Put children in Harms Way.

-- Posted by TiredofIdiots on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 9:27 PM

I know no one would want a child hurt. My daughter enjoyed going to red ribbon day. I know it is tragic, but I hope it does not ruin the event for years to come.

-- Posted by ape1 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 9:27 PM

Bandmom is correct.....the dog would have to be euthanized and the brain would need to be examined to determine if it has rabies. More than likely, the dog is impounded and observed for 10 days since he's probably current on his vaccinations. Now, the family of this boy would not be a source for the smell to drugs...I know them personally. I believe the dog was nervous, maybe the boy's legs moved a little, the dog got a whiff of drugs, and attacked. Sounds like the dog is not perfect in his job and may need to be retrained? It was an unfortunate accident, there needs to be no blame shifting. Learn from the incident and move on.

-- Posted by eyn62 on Sun, Nov 3, 2013, at 9:51 PM

Sounds like this was a very effective training tool that the kids will never forget. Hopefully it detoured them from using drugs. I think it needs to be dropped. It was an animal and they have their own minds. Hopefully the parent drops it also. It was a mistake and it was all done in good purpose and intension. Judge Akers would never put anyone's life at danger and either would any of the officers involved.

-- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Tue, Nov 5, 2013, at 5:59 AM

This is an animal, animals can be unpredictable. Even the best trained animals are still unpredictable. Just ask Siegfried & Roy.... It should be obvious to all that, while it may have been a poor decision on human part, that it was none the less an accidental happening. Drop it already and let everyone get back to work and leave the dog alone. There are no stupid animals, only stupid people.

-- Posted by shelli on Tue, Nov 5, 2013, at 2:01 PM

Maybe all you hypocritical people should post your name instead of hiding behind a keyboard..... no one person can control the actions of another human being or animal... so take your opinions elsewhere... how about the kid is he ok?? Hopefully they GET PAID FOR BRAZILS MISTAKES..LMMFAO ..... HURRY UP AND COMMENT.

-- Posted by unclecrabby on Wed, Nov 6, 2013, at 3:52 AM

I hope this is dropped. Goodness sakes, any dog could have done this. The dog is trained to do this and in my opinion the play should have never taken place with the real dogs. The Officer was just assisting and the kids volunteered I am sure with parental consent. You know the possible ramifications for allowing your kid to participate in a play like this, so lets move on. I'm sure the kid will be just fine.

-- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Thu, Nov 7, 2013, at 2:41 AM

Glad to know there is someone with the real name "unclecrabby".

-- Posted by tcschurick on Thu, Nov 7, 2013, at 7:39 AM

That's Mr Unclecrabby

-- Posted by shelli on Thu, Nov 7, 2013, at 12:40 PM

Unsolicedtidbits - your lack of concern for a child amazes me. A child was seriously hurt due to poor choices of the adults in charge. It really doesn't matter that any dog could have bit, the only thing that matters is this dog bit and inflicted serious injury on a child.

It doesn't matter how nice or well meaning the people are who put the child in this situation. It only matters that a child was seriously injured once they put the child in that situation. What makes this worse is there were signs the dog was not comfortable and they ignored it.

To blame the victim and the family is insane. To say they should just drop it makes me angry. Had this happened to your child and you saw how bad they were hurt, I seriously doubt you would drop it whatsoever. To say "he will be fine" does nothing to negate the pain he went through, or the scars and possible damage he will carry for the rest of his life.

What world would we live in if only "mean" people were accountable for injury? So if a person makes a bad choice and texts and drives and runs over a person, we will just give them a pass because they are "nice" and didn't mean for it to happen. See my point? Do you think it matters to a person who was mangled by the car if the person who did it was nice or didn't mean to? Does that change the injuries done to that person at all?

This is not a popularity contest, people. This isn't about trying to make Judge Akers or the Police look bad. This is simply about a child being injured and that child needs taken care of. PERIOD. No one should be above being accountable. Being accountable doesn't mean you are bad, just responsible.

-- Posted by localgal on Fri, Nov 8, 2013, at 11:51 AM

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