A video shows Missouri police holding a man over the hood of a car before another officer releases a K-9, which appears to bite him multiple times.
Two Woodson Terrace police officers are seen in the video leaning over the man on a car stopped in the middle of a road Monday. A third officer arrives and releases the dog while still grasping the leash as it bites the man standing against the car.
At one point, the man raises his hands as the dog’s mouth remains clamped onto his ankle area. Then two officers pull the man down onto the street and the third officer pulls off the dog.
When the man stands up, the third officer is seen again releasing the dog on him until he is handcuffed.
The video ends after two officers hold the man up as they lead him to a police car while he appears unable to walk.
Warning: The video includes graphic content and obscene language.
The Woodson Terrace Police Department said officers went to a business Monday morning after a caller reported feeling “fearful” because the man refused to leave. When police arrived, the man had left and walked toward another business.
The man threatened to kill the officers and identified himself as a “sovereign citizen” who “will not obey your contract,” according to police, and he walked onto a road in rush-hour traffic as the officers commanded him to stop.
Police said the officers blocked traffic and attempted to arrest him but he refused and resisted their orders.
“The subject was then warned several times that if he did not comply the K-9 would be released,” police said. “The subject continued to resist causing minor injuries to one of the officers so the K-9 was released and the K-9 gained control of the suspect’s foot.”
After the man was taken to the ground, police said he was attempting to run away when he stood up, which led them to release the dog again.
Police said the man seemed to be under the influence of drugs and officers found what appears to be meth on his body, “which would explain why the officers were unable to restrain” him.
Police said the man refused medical treatment at the scene but complained about his injuries at the department and went to the hospital.
In a statement, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said “our office is aware of this video, and we will make a thorough review of the incident.”
“It would be premature to comment on the merits or specifics of an ongoing investigation at this time,” Bell said.
Michael Gould, a former K-9 handler who trained police dogs, told KSDK the video is “problematic.”
“The fact of the matter is, it’s a human reflex response, you can’t have an 80-pound dog puncturing your skin and be compliant,” Gould told the news outlet.
St. Louis County NAACP President John Bowman said police “have a tough job” but he found the video to be disturbing, KTVI reported.
“It gives an appearance that takes us back to a time period that we’re trying our best to forget,” Bowman told KTVI. “It was haunting to see a dog being unleashed on a human being in that manner. There were three very healthy, strong police officers present.”