A Tacoma man is seeking $3 million from the City of Lakewood, for injuries he said he suffered when a police dog attacked him in 2011.
Charles Boyles, 27, said in a tort claim filed Wednesday that the dog attacked him without provocation. He said he was walking at about 2:40 a.m. May 7 in a vacant field at 132nd Street Court South and 10th Avenue South. Police spokesman Chris Lawler said Thursday the department was not commenting on any pending claims or litigation.
Officers were not looking for Boyles, and had been tracking a suspect at the time, according to the claim.
Officer James Syler wrote in his report of the incident:
"Due to the overgrown vegetation, I did not see the male until K-9 Astor had already made contact. When I rounded the corner, a few feet behind K-9 Astor, I saw that the male did not match the description of the suspect. I immediately recalled K-9 Astor. K-9 Astor immediately released the male and returned to me."
Boyles was taken to the hospital for treatment.
"His arm doesn't feel like his arm anymore, " Boyles's attorney John O'Melveny said Thursday.
A report by another officer said Boyles told police after the attack that he thought his arm was broken. According to that account, Boyles said he had ducked into bushes to avoid being seen, because he thought officers were in the area because of a party at his house.
O'Melveny said the city has about a month to respond to Boyles's claim, at which point he could file a suit.
Astor is the same dog involved in a pending lawsuit for another alleged attack. Noel Saldana sued Lakewood and Syler for damages, after Saldana said he was unnecessarily mauled by Astor in June 2010.
According to the lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court:
Police responded after Saldana's wife called 911 to say he wouldn't leave their home when she asked. Saldana was walking along a sidewalk when the officer and dog approached. He said he turned around and dropped to the ground when asked, but Astor still attacked.
He lost range of motion in his knee, walks with a limp and has scarring on both legs as a result of the attack, the suit said.
No criminal charges were filed against Saldana. His lawsuit is pending.
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