Elkhart man accuses K-9 officer of excessive force

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(Photo supplied/Elkhart County Correctional Facility)

He can’t sue the dog, but he can sue it’s handler.

A federal judge ruled last week that Marvin Long apprehended by a K-9 officer after a lengthy pursuit last year can sue the dog’s handler for excessive force, according to the Elkhart Truth.

The Elkhart man can only name Elkhart police officer Jason Ray as a defendant, not the entire department and certainly not the K-9.

Long is accused of eluding the both Elkhart police and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department while officers tried to pull him over while investigating a burglary.

Long was pursued into Cass County, Michigan and ended up in a cornfield near the intersection of C.R. 4 and C.R. 15. Both Long and his passenger, 24-year-old Maranda Barnett-Reed, fled in the cornfield. Barnett-Reed was arrested shortly after at a neighbor’s house while Long was found bedded down in the cornfield.

Elkhart Police say Long refused to cooperate and had to be controlled by the K-9. Long alleges that the dog “started violently biting” his arm while Ray shouted out commands that sounded like “house.”

Long then says that, while being transported to the hospital for treatment, the Elkhart police officer taking him there told him “it definitely should not have happened.”

Long is seeking an unspecified amount of money in compensatory and punitive damages. Elkhart Police Department spokesman Sgt. Chris Snyder told the Elkhart Truth he wasn’t aware of the litigation and therefore had no comment.

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