Jun 17, 2015
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A man has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against the city of Richmond, saying a police dog bit him in the backyard of a home last year while officers were searching for a suspect that wasn’t him, according to Bay City News.

Humberto Luque, a retired cop from Mexico, says he was asleep in the shed of a friend’s home in Richmond on Aug. 14 when a police dog burst in on him about 9:30 p.m. and bit onto his arm.

The dog, identified in the lawsuit as K-9 Ronin, was deployed by Richmond police Officer Kristian Palma on a yard-to-yard search for a different person, Bay City News reported, citing the lawsuit. Luque’s attorney, Lizabeth de Vries of Scott Law Firm, said the dog refused to let go despite Palma’s attempts to remove him.

“Immediately, the officer realized that the dog had bitten the wrong person and tried to get the dog off of my client,” de Vries said, adding that several officers were needed to remove the dog’s teeth from Luque’s arm.

Along with nerve damage, Luque suffered diminished mobility, de Vries said. He seeks “full and fair compensation” and better training for the dogs and officers, the attorney said.

Richmond city officials declined to comment on pending litigation.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.