Montana Police Dog Attacks Man Working Late At Restaurant . . . Police Chief Declines To Apologize And Says Dog “Did What He Was Supposed To Do”

Darren RaneySome jurisdictions have curtailed or even eliminated K-9 teams due to liability — reducing the majority of dogs to drug and bomb sniffing units. That is clearly not the case in Livingston, Montana. Mark Demaline, who cooks at the Park Place Tavern, was attacked late at night in his workplace when police found a door unlocked after hours and sent in a police dog named Bobi. What is most astonishing is not just the lack of an apology by police but the insistence of Chief of Police Darren Raney (left) that the dog “did what he was supposed to do.”

After the restaurant closed, Demaline did what he often did after work. He went next door to the Livingston Bar and Grille for a drink and then returned around 2 am to retrieve his laptop to go home. He made himself a quick salad for a late night snack and was heading to the door when he ran into Bobi. At first, he said “Hey, puppy” and tried to greet it. He says the dog attacked and lunged for his thigh. When he tried to grab Bobi’s collar, the dog went for his wrists. The dog bit him deeply in the thigh and brought him to the floor as the officer yelled for him to put his hands above his head — a difficult proposition with a dog clamped on your thigh.

The police forced Demaline to his feet painfully and pushed him out the restaurant in handcuffs. Then left him in handcuffs as they called the owner to confirm that he worked there. He was then taken to the hospital for the deep bites and a laceration on his back from when he fell.

In the aftermath of the attack, Raney did not appear to see a need for an apology and stated “It’s acceptable for the dog to confront anybody in the business at that hour, . . . When the dog finds somebody in the building, he’s going to secure him, and that’s what happened . . .He did what he was supposed to do.” The Chief could not be stating a better case for a lawsuit. It is hardly unheard of for a person to be working late at a bar or restaurant, particularly with a bar just closing next door. While the police say that they called into the business, sending in a dog off leash is an extreme measure. While these dogs are trained to immobilize a person, there have been many lawsuits showing that many trained animals suddenly attack.

In the absence of an apology, perhaps Demaline will find some solace in a damage award. It is clear that this is a police department badly in need of some legal corrective action. It is hard to believe that this tiny town has such a crime wave as to need this type of extreme enforcement measure. However, the town may now have to face the costs of excessive police action if Demaline sues, as he should, for this severe injury. To paraphrase the Chief, it is necessary for Demaline’s lawyer “to do what he is supposed to do.”

In another recent case out of Utah, a woman says that officers allowed a dog to attack her as she was asleep in front of a high school. She had previously had an encounter with a taxi driver who had refused to take her bike. She was awakened by the dog biting her leg. To make matters worse, the dispatcher praised the K-9 team saying “‘you two rock,’ ‘Wish we had instant photos in here!,’ ‘Severe trauma to the leg?,’ ‘Awesome extra treat for Vortex and you deserve a Slurpee!'”

Source: Livingston Enterprise

Kudos: Michael Blott

37 thoughts on “Montana Police Dog Attacks Man Working Late At Restaurant . . . Police Chief Declines To Apologize And Says Dog “Did What He Was Supposed To Do”

  1. The dog did NOT do what he was supposed to do, dogs do what they are trained to do; and it was the police officer that did not do what he was supposed to do, like use common sense and understand that in a restaurant there are often people working at any hour of the morning, prepping for the next day. I grew up working in restaurants and bars, 50 loaves and ten cakes do not bake themselves; and it was not unusual for me to be cleaning a kitchen at 3:30 AM.

  2. Sue, sue, sue. And what Darrel said. That case in Utah is awful, a 3mil suit sounds about right, I’d go for it if I was on the jury.

  3. TonyC nails the problem. The dog did what it was trained to do. It is an animal who obeys commands. There is a distinction with a difference between doing what it was supposed to do, and what it was trained to do.

  4. I have been with our local K9 officer when she responded to a silent alarm at a drugstore and attached businesses. She called into the store several time in a command voice that a Marine DI would be proud of. She yelled, several times, “Show yourself. If you do not show yourself I will turn the dog loose. Show yourself.” She called out three or four times, pausing each time long enough for whoever set the alarm off to make an appearance. The same was repeated for the adjacent businesses. In that case, the burglar(s) had come in through the dropped ceiling, and apparently made their getaway out the back as the first patrol car was turning into the driveway out front.

    That is the way it is supposed to be done.

  5. Tony – great point. I’m not certain if the frequency of this type of violation, not to mention the beloved swat intrusions, are on the rise or just that more of them are now being reported…but this is why people have a deepening distrust of the police and government (for one, me included, recalling all the “untruth” bombs dropped by Justices’ “Fast and Furious” or NAS in the name of national security, not to mention drones, traffic cameras, etc.). One might be inclined to think we are on the precipice of a police state. At what point does reality displace paranoia?

  6. Livingston, Montana, has a population of just over 7000. Is it really necessary for a little town of that size to have a police dog? Is that cost-effective, even before the certain lawsuit?

  7. When a dog has your thigh in its jaw…. that is the grip of life….and you do what comes natural…. This dog was trained to do exactly what it did…. I’d love to see the department policy on this as well as the training given the dog by the trainer….

    If I was the county/city I’d open the check book and say this is what we have to settle this matter… The guys going to need rehab therapy on his legs…. More than likely…

  8. An unlocked door is not an invitation for police to secure whoever is inside. Whatever happened to the Fourth Amendment? Perhaps a door broken down might be probable cause to investigate, but an unlocked door is not an invitation for police to take any action, much less this action that caused harm to Mark Demaline. The police owe Demaline damages big time, and there needs to be some kind of punitive action against the police and their procedures.

  9. “An unlocked door is not an invitation for police to secure whoever is inside.”

    No. It’s not. By that shall we say highly questionable rationale, leaving your house unlocked is an invitation for the police to come in and secure everyone there without probable cause.

  10. Just finished reading “Rise of The Warrior Cop” by Radley Balko about the militarization of America’s police forces. The incident in Montana is now more typical rather than atypical.

  11. I got to be friends w/ a K-9 unit in KC. It as OS described. And, they told me the drill sgt. command “Show yourself or we will release the dog” almost always resulted in immediate surrender, particularly in black neighborhoods. Sometimes, the stupid white burglars thought they could hide or outrun the dogs. Stupid crackers!

  12. Lawsuits! Until our towns go broke paying for them nothing is going to change with this police state called America. Disgusting. It all started when we started sending our city police chiefs to Israel for training in the 1980’s & 90’s. Google the articles. Shoot 1st ask questions later.

  13. Send the dog down here to Florida to our marina and we will interview him on the Dogalogue Machine and get his deposition for the trial. No more hearsay of the dog. I bet that the guy deserved a bite or two. Probably had his fingers in the til.

  14. nick,

    Depends on the business and the circumstance. As Tony stated, just because the dining room isn’t open for business doesn’t mean a restaurant is not open for business and as he notes at odd hours. When I was a kid, one of the businesses my dad owned was a restaurant. Open from 5:00AM-9:00PM. People where there working from 3:00AM-11:00PM every day. Radio Shack unlocked at 3:00AM? That’s probable cause to inspect, not release the hounds. A restaurant? Not so much.

  15. Nick:

    “Sometimes, the stupid white burglars thought they could hide or outrun the dogs. Stupid crackers!”

    Most of your comments are worth reading, but your most recent comment is pretty racist. Don’t know what you are trying to prove with the racial comments, but they diminish you.

  16. The dog did what is was trained to do, alright – attack without provocation, become a tool of intimidation. And yet if Demaline had been holding a knife at the time of the assault – which it was, an assault – and killed the dog in self-defense, you can bet he would have been beaten and tortured by the pi…”cops” and possibly suicided. Or charged with murder if he survived.

    That dog should be put down immediately, and so should its “handler”.

  17. It’s really too bad he didn’t shoot the dog, then file suit claiming entry without breaking and assault with a dangerous weapon. The department itself may also be at fault for keeping such a dangerous and untrained person on it’s staff.
    Did the police damage or remove any security cameras during this fiasco?

  18. @davidm2575 re “An unlocked door is not an invitation for police to secure whoever is inside. Whatever happened to the Fourth Amendment?”

    Boing Boing science editor Maggie Koerth-Baker recently had her home entered by police in the middle of the night because the police saw an both an open garage door and an open back door and decided that was probable enough.

    Seems like overstepping to me.

  19. P Smith and Enfant du Peche – If he had killed the police dog, it would not have been murder. Non-humans cannot be murdered, under the law. Furthermore, killing the police dog would not have served any good purpose.

  20. Police Chief Declines To Apologize And Says Dog “Did What He Was Supposed To Do”

    If only Livingston Montana Chief of Police Darren Raney “Did What He Was Supposed To Do”. Like for instance apologizing for the unprofessional actions of his officers especially when they harm innocent members of the local community.

    PS Livingston Montana Chief clown of Police Darren Raney looks pretty in his costume too. He is however missing his big red clown nose.

  21. You might want to think again, charlie, and rid yourself of that quaint delusion. Killing a schweinhund in self-defence may not lead to a murder charge, but the punishments are as harsh as any manslaughter charge.

    From Stale…I mean, Slate:
    So Help You, Dog
    How does a canine cop become a “sworn officer?”

    From Syracuse dot com:
    Killing an on-duty police dog a felony in NY beginning Nov. 1 under law signed by Gov. Cuomo

    You’ll have to copy and paste the article titles to search for yourself. I used article names because Turley’s site is poorly designed, choking on any post with multiple links in it.

  22. lol @ psmith your posts sound exactly like the posts of one pamela smith

    what site design would you suggest? one of complication?

    ive been reading this blog site for a number of years and never had any problems and ive posted many comments with multiple links in it. maybe its your computer and not the website. try cleaning it out

    as for the article i suggest the town do what its supposed to do and get rid of the police chief. also the restaurant could refuse to allow cops into its premises from here on without warrants with the reasoning the workers are now all afraid they might get attacked in their place of work…

  23. Steven “Stupid crackers” is not racist. You can say virtually anything you want about white males, poor white folk, etc. Poor white fat folk can be legally beaten up in 16 states.

  24. The dog did what it was directed to do, which means that the poor training in this instance relates to the police officers themselves. Chief Raney’s explanation is astonishingly idiotic. Perhaps if the inevitable settlement following the inevitable lawsuit were partially funded through payroll deductions from the chief’s salary, he might rethink his position.

  25. Funny sending the dog into a home in the country will result in animal crackers. Just get around them and force their jaws back breaking their mouth joint and they become useless.

  26. Trayvon called Zimmerman a dumb cracka. Nothing racist in calling an Hispanic American a cracka.
    There is no witness inside that building to know what the human said or did to the dog. The guy was probably wizzing in the sink and the dog thought he was pulling a gun on him.

  27. Lawsuit! HA! If the State of Montana is anything like every other government on Earth, the judges are part and parcel of the corrupt system. I’m willing to bet the circuit judge and the chief of police are drinking buddies.. They will seize on any little mistake the plaintiff makes in his case, and then dismiss the lawsuit against the cops.
    And we need to start calling them what they are: People In Government Service (PIGS)

  28. All of you are the most ignorant steaming piles of k9 unit crap. How can you judge an innocent person who works harder in one day than the majority of you have worked in your life. Someone who is the most upstanding, honest, and fair person in our community at very least. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for blabbering all this when you don’t know you head from the end you shit out. Do you even know anything about this town? Do you know anything about the employee in the kitchen? Didn’t think so. All you foolish clowns, especially the idiot lying lawyer who wrote this I’d like so see what “disgustedoneastBroadway” wrote happen to you. Not to mention when you need one of these noble law enforcers I hope you just slip right through the cracks and rot. You don’t deserve their services.

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