Petersburg Police launch investigation after K9 incident caught on camera

Petersburg Police launch investigation after K9 incident caught on camera
An incident involving a Petersburg Police K9 was caught on camera over the weekend. (Source: Viewer video)
An incident involving a Petersburg Police K9 was caught on camera over the weekend. (Source: Viewer video)

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A Petersburg man says he was attacked by a Petersburg Police K9 over the weekend.

Police confirmed Monday that on Saturday they were called to Persimmon Court just after 4 p.m. for a call of a fight and a man possibly with a gun.

While police were questioning the suspect, officers say he took off running and the K9 was released from the patrol car.

A large crowd was already outside and that's when police say the dog attacked one of the bystanders, Rafer Allen, biting him on the arm. A friend was going live on Facebook and captured part of the attack on his cell phone.

"I stood there like I'm going to take the bite. I don't got no other choice," said Allen. "I'm not about to run. He's too close up on me."

Police say multiple people were running. Allen says he trying to get his children out of the way.

"When I fell to the ground, I'm looking at the police officer telling him, 'Get your dog! Get your dog off me!'"

Allen says the officer did apologize but wonders if he had control of his dog.

"The dog see a lot of people, so the dog don't know where to go," said Allen. "The dog ain't letting me go so he choked the dog and the dog let me go. Why do you have to do all that if it's your dog and you've had it for decades?"

Petersburg Police say there is now an ongoing internal investigation.

"The canine unit officer on scene released the dog who bit a person not involved in the altercation," Petersburg Police said in a new release. "The person refused medical treatment and left the scene. The dog has been removed from service pending a complete investigation and the officer is still on regular duty."

NBC12 asked Petersburg police what is the protocol when it comes to releasing a K9 with a crowd nearby. A spokesperson said she could answer that question after the internal investigation.

Police say the suspect they were looking for assaulted an officer and fled the scene. He is described as a black male with braids, wearing gray jogging pants.

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