The New Westminster Police have been asked to investigate what occurred when a 16-year-old was mauled by a police dog during an arrest last weekend.
On Saturday, at about 2 a.m., Surrey Mounties were called out to a break and enter in progress at a convenience store in the 14900-block 108 Avenue.
Uniformed police officers arrived with the police dog services and witnessed two individuals fleeing the scene.
The police dog picked up the scent of one of them, and led the officer to a 16 year old.
During the take-down, the teen was bitten several times in the face and arm.
“We are concerned with the injuries sustained by the 16-year-old,” Chief Superintendent Janice Armstrong said in a release.
“Given the circumstances, we have placed the dog handler on administrative duties and his police dog has been removed from operational duty while the New Westminster Police Department conducts their investigation,” Armstrong said.
James, the kid’s father, told CTV News he was shocked to see his child had a broken nose as well as puncture wounds and deep gashes on his face.
“My kid’s face was mutilated to the point where I could not recognize my child,” he said, adding the family is considering a lawsuit.
The 16-year-old has been released, but police are recommending charges in relation to the break-in.
New Westminster Police Sgt. Diana McDaniel confirmed the New West police have taken over custody of the investigation and said it’s now in the hands of their Major Crimes Unit.
McDaniel said police will be looking at the use of the police dog, whether it conformed to police policy and if the use of force was excessive, among other details of the arrest.
The investigation comes only days after a Vancouver man launched a lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Department after his leg was allegedly torn badly by a police dog earlier this month.
According to the Pivot Legal Society, dog bites comprise half the injuries reported by municipal police in British Columbia during arrests.
~with files from CTV News