Police dog bites Solano County man by mistake


(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

A Solano County man was mistakenly assaulted by a police dog in American Canyon while officers there were attempting to detain a criminal suspect, according to a report.

On Monday, television station KTVU (Channel 2) said the incident happened last weekend when a suspect tried to evade police after crashing his car on Highway 29.

At one point during the incident, police deployed a K-9 in an attempt to detain the suspect, but the dog bypassed the suspect's car and lunged at a bystander who was standing in the median of a nearby road.

The victim was identified only as a 19-year-old from Solano County. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of dog bites to the hand and released, KTVU said.

The suspect, identified as 48-year-old James Spencer, was later booked into Napa County jail on a variety of charges.

A police official said an internal investigation is under way concerning the dog bite incident.

In May, KTVU published an investigative report that found Bay Area law enforcement agencies used police dogs in connection with a variety of criminal investigations, and that policies between agencies were often different.

Training standards are set by a police advocacy group, but no certifications are required for K-9s or their handlers, and there is no state law governing how or when police dogs can be used.

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