GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said a Greenville City Police Department K9 reportedly attacked a man and his dog at a dog park in Simpsonville on Tuesday.
According to a sheriff’s office news release, deputies were called to the 100 block of Waterton Way in Simpsonville around 12:30 p.m. after a caller said an unsecured dog attacked him and his dog.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they learned that a Greenville City Police Department K9 had escaped his handler’s enclosed fence and then approached the man with the dog at a dog park in the neighborhood.
According to the release, the K9 then allegedly went after one of the man’s dogs and the man tried to step in and was injured. The sheriff’s office said the man had a large scratch on his arm and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
The man’s dog was injured and is being treated.
Deputies and the Greenville Police officer responded and secured the K9, named as Sarge.
On Wednesday, Greenville Police officials released the following statement:
On November 6, 2018 at around 1 p.m., Greenville Police Department (GPD) K-9 “Sarge”, managed by Officer B. Newman, was involved in an altercation with another dog. The incident occurred in Simpsonville. The GPD will not be releasing the exact address for the privacy of the victim and the officer.
The incident began as Officer Newman let Sarge out into his secured, fenced backyard to relieve himself prior to reporting for his regularly scheduled shift. Officer Newman went inside the residence to gather the remainder of his uniform gear. A few minutes later, Officer Newman returned to the backyard to retrieve Sarge and found him missing. He immediately checked the surrounding area and looked inside the residence.
After not being able to locate Sarge, he began to search the neighborhood in his patrol vehicle, which is specially equipped for K-9 transport. Additionally, he requested and received support from other GPD officers in searching for the canine.
Approximately 15 minutes later, Sarge was located at the neighborhood clubhouse a short distance away from the residence, after reports came into Greenville County dispatch of an incident between a German Shepard (K-9 Sarge) and a black Labrador Retriever. Officer Newman was able to quickly arrive at the incident location and retrieve Sarge without further incident.
The engagement between the dogs resulted in the black Labrador Retriever receiving a non-life threatening puncture wound in the neck. The dog’s owner suffered a scratch on his left forearm as he separated the dogs. The owner’s injury appeared minor and the owner required no immediate medical attention. The black Labrador was taken to a veterinarian for treatment and is reportedly doing well.
At this time, it is unclear why Sarge left the fenced backyard of his handler. While this has never happened before, safeguards have been put into place to ensure this will not occur again, including no unsupervised, backyard releases of the K-9 and the addition of an outdoor kennel.
Last night, Chief Ken Miller, Captain Marty Wilkes, and Officer Newman visited with the victim and his dog and apologized for the regrettable incident. The City of Greenville is working with the victim to ensure that all medical or veterinary expenses are fulfilled by the City in this matter.
Per departmental policy, the incident will be investigated to evaluate Officer Newman’s compliance with policy. Separately, Greenville County Animal Control will investigate the event to determine compliance with all Animal Control laws. Officer Newman remains on active duty as these investigations progress.