(WSVN) - A Hollywood man says he has been in a seven-year battle for justice after being left traumatized and scarred by a police dog when he was 16 years old. As 7’s Brian Entin reports, this “Dog Fight” is now going to court.
We had to blur these pictures because they are so graphic. They show a 16-year-old’s arm mauled by a Hollywood Police dog.
Man bitten: “Out of nowhere, the dog just attacked me, and from there on, I was just like screaming, screaming, screaming. I’m like, ‘Please get the dog off of me. Somebody please.'”
The 16-year-old is now 23. He doesn’t want to show his face but is sharing his story for the first time because his lawsuit against Hollywood Police is about to go to trial.
He says he and two friends were riding bikes when officers started following them. He says he panicked, took off and hid in a yard.
Next thing he remembers, the dog’s jaws were around his arm.
Man bitten: “It was just so scary for me ’cause it’s like something, is just I don’t know. It feels like forever, it’s just happening, happening. You want it to get off of you, and you can’t even get it off. It’s just scary.”
He spent three days in the hospital.
Hollywood Police say they were answering a burglary alarm in the area where the 16-year-old and his friends were riding.
The family hired an attorney who says this is a case of excessive force — and she says the officers involved have changed their stories.
Cheryl Linton Robinson, attorney: “We’ve deposed three of the officers involved, and we get varying circumstances.”
The Hollywood Police Department cannot comment because of the lawsuit, but in an email says the teen “was not ‘targeted by the officers for no reason.’ The facts are clearly explained in the police report.”
A police report filed by the responding officer says the dog was used because, “The subject sprang to his feet, made a quick move with his right hand toward his right front pants pocket and attempted to scale the east gate of the residence.”
Man bitten: “Nah. I did nothing wrong. I just feel as though whenever something goes wrong, and they just see black people or black kids or whatever around the area they’re not supposed to be at, it’s always you. You did it.”
No charges were filed against the boys in connection with the burglary alarm. Hollywood Police did file loitering and prowling charges against the then 16-year-old, but he was never prosecuted.
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