Video: San Diego Police Allow Police Dog To Bite Naked Man For 40 Seconds

police-dog-attack-1213The police have belatedly released a shocking tape from 2015 that was the basis for an almost $400,000 settlement with a man who was found naked and high on LSD.  Even though the man clearly did not have a weapon, the police proceeded to order a K-9 to attack him and bite him for 40 seconds.  The disturbing videotape is below.  There is no record of any officer being fired for this clearly excessive use of force.

In August 2015, police responded to a morning call about a man screaming and running through a canyon. The man had no clothes and clearly no weapon.  The man is a 25-year-old businessman in San Diego for a convention and was still tripping on LSD from a party the night before.  The officers start out with encouraging and professional efforts to get the man to come to them.  The man refuses and then a police dog is allowed to attack as the man screams.  Despite his falling to the ground, the dog is not pulled back, though officers are seem attempting to pull him back.  What is most striking is that no warning was given despite standard police of “at least two warnings in a loud and clear manner” before allowing a K-9 to bite someone. No warning of any kind is heard in the clip.

All of this explains why the San Diego City Council last week approved a $385,000 settlement. It was a deal.  The man was in the hospital for two weeks and his leg is permanently disabled.


Police departments around the country reduced K-9 units after a series of lawsuits.  The ability to train a dog to attack humans but control the animal is a highly uncertain process.  Police dogs were the basis of lawsuit where they attacked without orders or refused to pull back when ordered.  San Diego itself settled a lawsuit in the 1990s for $3.6 million and agreed to “revamp its policy for the use of force by dogs.”

Ultimately the victim was never charged.  However, the city maintains that “At all times, the conduct of the defendants was reasonable, lawful, based on probable cause and within the scope of their official duties and employment.”

It is not clear why it took so long for the public to see this important and disturbing videotape, but, as we have discussed, police have been increasingly limiting the release of such videos or the names of officers involved.  This week San Diego Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Wahl issued the following statement:

“This video shows the agitated and defiant demeanor of a man under the influence of LSD. When played in its entirety, the video shows our officers trying to gain his compliance before he became defiant. While the split second decisions of police officers are easy to second guess when you know the outcome, keep in mind the deployment of our K9 is intended to prevent the situation from escalating.”

That last statement would seems to undermine any argument that there is reform in this area.  The K9 was the escalation.  You be the judge.

WARNING: The full video is extremely graphic and disturbing. 


50 thoughts on “Video: San Diego Police Allow Police Dog To Bite Naked Man For 40 Seconds”

  1. Where is the evidence this drugged-out nut case was permanently disabled? Seems to me he is more likely to be permanently disabled by frying his brain cells on LSD than by having a police dog bite him in the wherever. Having said that, nerve damage is a likely outcome of bites on the extremities. Is it worth $400K? Ask someone whose been mauled by a dog or hit by a motor vehicle, incurred nerve damage, and has lost motor control of a body part, arm, forearm, hand, fingers, or foot, as a result. I think police do these things because they have little fear they will be held accountable.

  2. That’s ‘shocking’???

    The man, speaking to NBC Los Angeles, said the attack sent him to a hospital for two weeks and left part of his leg permanently disabled.

    Do we get to hear what the ‘disability’ is?

    Honestly, this man uses street drugs, endangers his own safety and causes a wretched public order problem which makes necessary the deployment of the police, is bitten by the police dog in the melee, and gets a payday of $400,000 for a disability no one can specify (and makes a wildly implausible claim about being in a hospital for two weeks for a flesh wound).

    Libertarian academics, always the advocates of roues, nuisances, and grifters.

    1. You’re a psycho. Hope you never get on a jury, represent anyone, or otherwise are in a position of responsibility.

      1. She (DesparatelySeekingSusan/StepStepSteponToads) has characterized herself as having “conventional values.” Apparently those values date to the Torquemada Convention.

  3. Why isn’t the video still available? Less than $400K for a permanent leg injury caused by a police dog is absurd.

    1. What connie wrote. $400K for a permanent injury after a battery, and probably emotional distress, etc.? I can’t imagine the comparative negligence of the victim was very high. Naked and acting weird is now considered a threat of imminent harm? Deadly force shouldn’t have been even considered, let alone used.

      SDPD has had a problem with baiting the public and aggression, and the relatively low pay drives out many of the good/smart cops to other cities.

        1. You’re so, so strong when you’re so, so wrong with your “conventional values,” but is it better to be strong and wrong than acknowledge government permanently disabled a citizen for no good reason?

          Enquiring minds . . .

    2. The video is on Youtube. It’s not ‘shocking’. The dog attacks him and the police struggle to pull the dog off. That’s all.

      1. It sure the f is shocking. The police are not struggling to pull the dog off. They’re fine with the mauling; they seem to be enjoying it, even rather bored with it.

        1. If fiction helps you feel better, fine. Just don’t bother normal people with it.

    3. He never specifies what his injury was and the reporter never asks. Why take them at face value?

  4. Darren, who is a cop, and myself, who wrestled w/ naked people in prison, know it is a bad situation you don’t want to have to do unless you absolutely have to. A whacked out, naked guy is a nightmare to deal w/. I wrestled a 300lb. naked paranoid schizophrenic off his thorazine when I worked @ Leavenworth. Two of us were getting our asses kicked until the cavalry arrived. There is nothing to grab onto..well there’s one thing. Again, not justifying, simply trying to offer some real world thoughts on this bad situation.

    1. Surely there are better tools and methods – ? Wild animals get shot with tranquilizer darts, or simply herded away from where they can cause the worst harm. Why is it necessary to get someone in a canyon under complete physical control immediately? Even in a prison, depending on where the person is, would it not be possible simply to confine him to a room and call a mental-health professional to handle it? Isn’t some inconvenience worth the reduction in risk of physical harm both to the “whacked-out” person and to the staff?

      Police culture these days is very, very scary. There is the testosterone-driven rage that some seem to allow to take over when they perceive even the slightest resistance to their authority. And there are the incidents where they seem to find civilians’ suffering at their hands humorous. Both are psychopathic behaviors. That the bosses don’t seem to see either behavior as a firing offense is mindboggling to me.

      1. Police culture these days is very, very scary. T

        No, Karen. There is nothing ‘scary’ about ‘police culture’. Your anxieties and emotional problems are your problem.

        1. Ah, when you have no valid argument, resort to personal attacks and name-calling. Lame indeed.

          1. Your insistence that ‘police culture’ is ‘scary’ is subjective and, truth be told, unreasonable. The police don’t have a problem, you do, and hence are properly attacked.

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