Police K9 bites man in handcuffs; Alameda Co. Sheriff says it was an 'accident'
SAN LORENZO, Calif. - Sheriff's deputies in Alameda County called it an accident, but a man who was bitten by a police dog while in custody, wants an apology.
Kenneth Schultz, 30, said it’s hard to sit and walk after he was bit in the rear and the leg. He said it will take weeks to heal. For their part, the sheriff's office is making changes.
Schultz said an Alameda County Sheriff K9 attacked him outside his San Lorenzo home on Monday night.
“It was shocking,” said Schultz. “It didn't bite lightly. It jumped and latched on.”
Deputies were called to the home following a domestic disturbance. Security cameras show Schultz in handcuffs after failing a sobriety test. A K9 unit assisted the handler and is seen bringing Schultz’s belongings back in the home. Schultz is then taken to a patrol car. Another deputy opens the door and out comes the K9 who bites Schultz.
The K9’s handler pulls the German Shepard off. The attack lasted less than ten seconds. Schultz had cuts to his behind and legs. He was taken to Eden Medical Center for treatment.
“I just think it was a rookie guy who just got on the team maybe and didn't have a good person to lead him,” said Schultz.
Deputies confirm it was a patrol officer trainee who inadvertently opened the wrong door.
“The way the K9 vehicles are configured in the rear compartment,” said Sgt. Tya Modeste, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. “A portion of it, half of it is for the K9 and it's separated.”
Schultz was supposed to be placed on the driver’s side.
“This was clearly an accident,” said Sgt. Modeste. “We are moving to make sure both doors will have labeling on it.”
“I’m sure that suspect just won the lottery,” said Rico Loza of Valley Rooted Security Consulting. “I’m sure his charges will be dropped and he will walk out with a nice payout.”
Loza is a K9 instructor who trains police dogs and called it unfortunate. He was adamant it was not the K9’s fault. He admits the video doesn’t look good.
Back in May 2018, there was another accident involving a Alameda County Sheriff K9 who attacked a handcuffed man in Hayward. A handler pressed a device that freed the K9 from the patrol car.
“Every situation is different,” said Sgt. Modeste. “We always try to address training matters.”
Schultz wants better training and accountability and said he was not aggressive and did not deserve what happened.
“Everything was very calm,” said Schultz. “It was yes sir, no sir just making sure I was safe and at the end of it, I wasn't safe.”
Schultz was cited with a misdemeanor for being under a controlled substance. He said he is in the process of retaining a lawyer and may sue the department.