Spencer Erickson has filed a lawsuit against several Lakewood police officers, claiming they ordered a K-9 attack that nearly killed him.
The lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred on Sept. 21, 2018. Police officers went to Erickson’s home to arrest him on “low-level non-violent warrants,” including failing to appear in court on DUI and criminal mischief charges.
“For reasons we can’t fathom, other than this is how Lakewood told their officers to respond, they decide to respond in full force. They show up with at least six police officers and a police dog and treat this like a tactical assault,” Erickson’s lawyer, Adam Frank said. “They had absolutely no justification for that. This dog is trained to attack. This dog’s role is to find someone and bite them as hard as it can to subdue them.”
The suit claims that the K-9 known as Finn was known to be a dangerous dog. The dog had attacked more than one officer during training. In fact, one officer was bitten so badly that he was out of work for a month.
The attack resulted in severe lacerations to Erickson’s throat, cuts on the side of his neck and an injury to his shoulder.
The lawsuit said that if the cuts were just millimeters deeper, he would have died.
Almost a year after the attack, Erickson still suffers pain and injuries. He was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The massive scarring on Mr. Erickson’s neck makes it appear to anyone he meets that he either tried to kill himself or that someone tried to kill him,” the lawsuit said.
Lakewood police didn’t make a comment because they’re not permitted to speak about pending litigation. However, a police report stated that the dog’s handler “could hear a male voice saying something muffled” from an upstairs area of the apartment, where Erickson’s room was located, before sending the K-9 to look at the upstairs level.
“The officers all agreed that they would send K-9 Finn into Mr. Erickson’s apartment and allow him to search for Mr. Erickson without supervision,” the suit claimed, “knowing that this would cause Mr. Erickson to suffer serious injury when he was bitten by K-9 Finn.”
To read more law related news stories, visit our news feed at Cohen & Cohen.