RCMP police dog mauling of teen investigated

CBC News // Posted: Jan 31, 2012

A Surrey, B.C., RCMP dog handler has been placed on administrative leave after a 16-year-old boy was allegedly bitten in the face by the officer’s animal during an arrest.

At a news conference Tuesday, police said they were taking the weekend incident very seriously.

“We are concerned with the injuries sustained by the 16-year-old,” said RCMP Chief Supt. Janice Armstrong. “Given the circumstances, we have placed the dog handler on administrative duties and his police dog has been removed from operational duty.”

Surrey Mounties were called to a break and enter at a gas station in the 14900 block of 108th Avenue early Saturday morning. Responding officers arrived in time to see two suspects running from the area, Armstrong said.

A police dog and handler tracked one of the suspects, a 16-year-old boy, who police said, “sustained injuries as a result of the arrest.”

The boy’s parents said he was apprehended while trying to climb a fence and fell to the ground, breaking his nose.

They said the police dog then attacked him while he was on the ground, “chewing his face.”

The boy suffered serious wounds, requiring many stitches to close, the parents said.

The New Westminster Police Department is conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

It’s the second time this month a police dog has been in the news in B.C. A man is suing Vancouver police for injuries he suffered when a dog tore his leg open during an arrest in June 2011.

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