ST. PAUL, MN (WCCO/CNN) – Police in Minnesota are apologizing after one of their K-9 officers clamped down on the arm of a 52-year-old woman taking out her trash and would not let go.
Desiree Collins, 52, was taking garbage out near her home in September, while police were trying to catch two burglary suspects in a nearby break-in.
A St. Paul police dog attacked Collins, biting her arm and holding tight.
Body cam footage shows the woman in agonizing pain, with police officers trying to help her.
The officers eventually managed to pull Collins away from the dog but not before she suffered bites to her arm and leg.
Collins is still recovering from her injuries.
Police say the attack was a terrible accident that should’ve never happened.
“As a department, we wish we could go back and do things differently. Unfortunately, we can’t,” said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell in a statement.
Collins filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Officer Thaddeus Schmidt, the K-9’s handler, according to The Washington Post.
Speaking through her attorney, Andy Noel, the 52-year-old says she wants more training for K-9 officers and their partners, so this doesn’t happen to another innocent person.
Noel believes Schmidt made several mistakes leading up to the attack, including insufficient warnings and no control over the dog, who was on a 20-foot leash.
Schmidt was suspended from work for one day because of the incident. He and his K-9 partner went through a month-long retraining program.
Collins says she still has scars on her right arm from the bite wounds, but she is doing OK as far as the pain goes. What she is really dealing with, she says, is the emotional impact of the attack.
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