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. I am trying to understand how a naked, unarmed man with empty hands can “escalate a situation.” Only if he was a martial arts expert, I suppose, in addition to being a virtual Hercules to take on four cops and a K-9. They could have tased him, or simply contained him until he ran out of energy. It seems to me the only escalation was on the part of the police.

  2. The settlement was way too small.

    The man posed no apparent threat in the video.

    Unless there are mitigating factors not apparent in the video, those cops deserve felony time.

    Who, having seen this video, still trusts cops to do the right thing?

    Worse, an armed felon who has seen this video will be tempted to use his gun rather than risk surrendering to cops like these.

    Dan Diego (either the PD or the city government) had the chance to do the right thing; they both failed badly. Who in San Diego now trusts either of these institutions?

    Bottom line, the ripples of this will reach a lot further than a $385K settlement.

  3. I can always count on Squeaky to say add some foolish and insensitive comment. Thanks Squeaker!

  4. I have gotten to know many K-9 cops. They are some of the best cops I’ve known. They love their animals and use them prudently. Any K-9 cop will tell you, the warning, “We’re sending in the dogs” works the vast majority of the time. This case is an aberration. But, the cop haters gotta hate and will lump all cops in w/ these apparently bad ones. Significant discipline APPEARS warranted in this case. But, anyone who gives their opinion on consequences w/ certitude, show their opinions to be worthless. Knowing background on these cops, just like knowing the prior record of a convicted criminal, is fundamental in determining consequences.

    1. Nicks

      These cops are not fit to be cops. Most cops are fit to be cops. Don’t lump these mutts in with the good guys. There is nothing that needs to be ‘known’. What they did is indicative of bent mental conditions. There is no justification here. Not one cop intervened. The guy was treated as meat to be played with. Nobody is ‘lumping’ these bums in with all cops. These bums deserve to be hated and that they were let off is the real crime against the police in this country. When the ‘force’ supports these animals the ‘force’ loses.

      1. Isaac, All I’m saying is I want to know their history. Something any reasonable person would say. You tend to shoot from the hip and are often reactionary regarding law breakers. I surmise you got this streak from your old man. It’s funny because I worked in a maximum security prison, worked for a prosecutor’s office putting people in prison, and am generally tough on lawbreakers. But, I believe in the rule of law and justice, not reactionary vengeance. You would be a horrible juror and I bet would dispense street justice if you were a cop.

        1. Some things are just wrong, wouldn’t you say? I couldn’t view the clip, which seems to have been removed from this site, but from others’ description I cannot imagine anything in these officers’ histories that would conceivably make this even remotely OK.

          Can you give an example of a (theoretical) history that would in any way excuse what they did here?

  5. I had days like that as a paperboy. Clothed, I might add. Several people thought it was funny while I was trying to shake their dog off my leg.

    1. Slohrrs, Dealing w/ dogs as a paperboy, and then as a probation officer and PI, I learned the, “He doesn’t bite” to be one of the great lies along w/ “The check is in the mail, I’ll still love you..” yada yada.

  6. Some relative of the victim needs to get his rifle and do some revenge on the cops. Not the dog. Shoot all five on television. If you shoot someone while live on TV it makes good news. I have never done that but history shows that some people have.

  7. The police union owns the SDPD
    In anticipation of the 40% former military in the police academy causing an increase of abuse of force lawsuits. they suggested more settlement money than better screening and help for troubled officers.

  8. Five cops and they cannot control one naked man…… pathetic. The video made me almost vomit. I love dogs and have had five of various breeds, all rescues. My wife and I financially cosponsor four large fund raising events every year for our local county animal control and local human society for the past thirteen years and also donate to various other animal shelters. I think this dog should be shot and the cops should be charge with aggrevated assault. For anyone to completely trust a cop in any situation is absolute insanity.

  9. These cops, everyone of them, should be fired and charged individually to the max. They are not fit to be police officers. The guy obviously posed no threat. There were four+ cops there. They allowed the dog to bite the guy for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with subduing the guy. Telling someone to stop squirming when their leg is being bitten and using that as a reason to allow the dog to continue biting the leg is well beyond stupid. When stupid is allowed as a defense we are all in big trouble.

    Of course in some cases they would have pumped several dozen bullets into his dangerous naked body. And they would have been found justified in doing so. If society wants respect for the police then it needs to create a police force comprised of responsible people. These cops are, everyone, not fit to be cops.

  10. Back in the 1990s there was a expose about police and their dogs and the need for the dog to chew (be rewarded) on the victim for awhile. This is the first I have seen is some time, so I thought they were retraining those dogs. Guess not. This guy did not get near enough, unless they agreed to pay to hospital bills besides.

  11. And if he was hospitalized for two weeks, how does 385K even cover his medical expenses? A deal and a half, I’d say. .

  12. Four cops have the guy down, but they still need a dog chewing his leg to mince meat? That was painful to watch. You try holding perfectly still when a dog has its fangs buried in your calf muscle. The settlement seems puny after having watched what looked lunchtime for Cujo. And it’s so reassuring to see that there are still people who think, “Well, he was using drugs, so clearly he deserved to have half his leg chewed off.” Wow.

  13. Too bad they don’t have a Mountain Lion unit. Then they could ask a perp, “Do you want to go to the MAUL???” I don’t feel one bit sorry for the dude. A worthless darn dope fiend. He will blow through the money before the year is out.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky Fromm you sound like you would fit in real well with the Nazis that did this, too bad that measly settlement didn’t come from these punk cop’s salaries, you called the guy a dope fiend for all you know he might not even use any kind of drugs, for all you know he didn’t even know it was LSD, did these brave cops know that he took LSD before they let Cujo have for him breakfast? Ever heard the expression innocent until proven guilty? the reversal of this expression is a growing and very dangerous trend in America by the police force these days, so much that I often wonder if the psychological test given to police officers was changed for the purpose of creating an Orwellian type police state, taken as a whole across this country the police people have changed, I realize the people as a whole have changed for the worse too, but this film proves these cops are the thugs here, which makes it even worse.

      1. issac – you forget that the Nazis were very clever. If we had not destroyed a ferry with heavy water on it, they would have had the atomic bomb 2 years before we did. They had the jet plane before we did. They had rockets. They had the first smart bomb.

    2. Squeeky:

      WOW! Just a little vitriol there.

      What about due process, reasonable force, police disclosure, etc?

      Better hope that you never cross a cop who thinks like you do.

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