Body camera footage captures police dog attack on woman taking garbage out

St Paul police officer Thaddeus P Schmidt was walking with his K9 Gabe on September 23 when the dog viciously latched on to Desiree Collins right arm

The dog, which had been with the police department for over five years, was brought in to assist police in their response to the crime. A 20-foot leash tethered the German shepherd to an officer from the St. Paul Police Department.

The incident was captured by a police body cam in September. Moments later, screams ring out. The dog bit into her leg, then clamped onto her arm around the elbow, video shows. The 53-year-old man was hospitalized for two weeks after he was bit by a police dog and kicked by an officer last year. The footage shows her in agonizing pain, with police officers trying to help her. Desiree Collins, 52, is heard screaming after officers pull the dog off her.

"You're fine, you're fine", one of the officers attempted to assure Collins.

An innocent woman taking out the garbage was attacked by a police dog hunting for burglary suspects - suffering bite wounds when the K-9 resisted officers' efforts to release its grip, according to a report.

But the dog would not let go until the officer, Schmidt, physically forced him to stop biting down on Collins's arm.

"You were at the wrong place at the wrong time", a cop also is heard saying.

Collins isn't satisfied with that answer, however.

"No reasonable officer would have believed that a warning given at this location, sheltered by homes and trees", the lawsuit says.

"What you have here is a completely innocent person taking out their garbage... and a K-9 simply wasn't controlled", Andrew Noel, one of Collins' lawyers, told the StarTribune.

"It should have never happened"'.

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After the attack, Collins was left with a bite mark on her leg and several bites to her arm.

She claims it was particularly hard to deal with the resulting injuries because she is handicapped. When she was an infant, she was injured in a fire and her left hand was amputated because of her injuries, Noel said.

The police department conducted an internal affairs investigation after the Collins incident, which resulted in a one-day suspension for Schmidt, according to police department records.

Right after the attack, St. Paul police helped Collins get groceries and change the dressings on the injuries, the lawsuit says, but police stopped helping her when they found out she had retained legal counsel.

"What happened to Ms. Collins was a bad accident that should not have occurred", Police Chief Todd Axtell said in a statement to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"What happened to Ms. Collins was a awful accident that should not have occurred", Axtel said in a written statement Thursday.

"As a department, we wish we could go back and do things differently", Axtell said, according to the Pioneer Press.

"What we can do is apologize and take responsibility, offer support and compassion, and learn from the incident so we can continue to work to prevent it from happening to anyone else".

Police told Fox 9 that following the attack, both Schmidt and Gabe were sent to training for one month.



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