Linus Kaysaywaysemat said he was just outside having a smoke when he was bitten by a Regina Police Service (RPS) dog on July 6, 2017.
“It happened so quick that I didn’t even have time to react, I was in shock,” Kaysaywaysemat said. “I just had time to look over to my loved one and tell her that there was a dog and by the time that we looked back it was biting on my arm.”
He said the dog chewed on his arm for a few minutes before police were able to get the dog off of him. Kaysaywaysemat said the dog’s handler had a little bit of trouble getting the dog to stop.
“After they got the dog off my arm, I was shaking like crazy.”
He said his daughter had a nightmare after the incident and he had to comfort them because they believed the dog would be coming back.
“One of my boys said he’d seen the dog bite my arm and when the dog let go of my arm, he said the dog’s teeth were bloody.”
Not the first incident
This isn’t the first recent incident where a police dog bit a civilian. Just two days before the incident Kaysaywaysemat described, a 56-year-old man was bitten by a different police dog.
The incident occurred during a training exercise that went awry when the dog, who was leashed at the time, took a turn on a street corner and bit the man on his right leg.
RPS responds to dog bites
On Tuesday, RPS superintendent Darcy Koch spoke about the two incidents.
“Both are under review at this point-in-time,” Koch said. He added they are collecting information and will forward it to the Use of Force board.
He said anytime a citizen is wrongly bitten by a police dog it’s a concern for the police service.
“It’s a mistake that was made and we’re going to make sure that we’re going to make any corrections that might need to come from that.”
He said the dogs are trained to a provincial standard and are subject to on-going training as well.
When speaking to the incident Kaysaywaysemat described, Koch said the dog was tracking a suspect in an active investigation when the incident occurred. Koch said they are looking into why the dog bit someone who wasn’t a suspect, whether it was because the man shared the same scent as the suspect or the dog was surprised by the sudden appearance of the man.
“I believe that some of the information we’re hearing right now is that it(dog) might’ve been a surprise that he was just all-of-a-sudden there and came out of his house to have a smoke on a deck and all-of-a-sudden they came across each other,” Koch said.
Koch said there have been 13 situations where a canine unit used force during an arrest.
He said both recent incidents are included in that number, with the training exercise one being deemed an accident and the other incident is still under investigation.
Both of the dogs are still on active duty.
Kaysaywaysemat was at Regina Police Service on Tuesday as well. He said he was there to find out what further actions are going to be taken to ensure something like this doesn’t happen to a bystander again.
Koch said police haven’t been able to contact one of the victims but Kaysaywaysemat said he hasn’t missed any calls from anyone.
“Nobody contacted me anything, they said it was going to be investigated but they were more-or-less talking on the media and saying what further actions we’re going to be taken but they didn’t tell me nothing.”
He also questioned the training the dog’s get, despite Koch indicating the dogs are trained at a high-level.
“If it was highly-trained, why was I attacked smoking? Is that highly-trained? I’m not trying to disrespect him in any way.”
Both Kaysaywaysemat and Koch met privately.