Houston Police Department Investigates Incident Involving Service Animal

The Houston Police Department is conducting an investigation into an incident involving the apparent injury to a juvenile suspect. On Monday (Dec. 8) about 9:30 p.m., off-duty HPD officers were patrolling an apartment in the 8900 block of Glencrest when they were advised that three individuals were trespassing and had concealed themselves in a vacant apartment. When the trespassing suspects refused the officers commands to exit the vacant unit, the officers obtained assistance from an on-duty supervisor and an HPD K9 unit (police service dog).
Despite the on-scene supervisor’s attempts to convince the suspects to exit the apartment and be lawfully detained, the suspects refused. HPD officers, along with a police service dog, then entered the apartment to effect detention and arrest. During an encounter with the juvenile, who was concealing herself in a bathroom, the police service dog bit the juvenile, causing injury. The juvenile received medical attention at the scene and at a local hospital for her injuries. In total, two juveniles were arrested for criminal trespassing and an adult male was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant, criminal trespassing, and possession of marijuana.
Police service dogs are used to assist officers in a number of situations, including searching for concealed suspects. This standard operating practice helps reduce the risk of use of force encounters between officers and suspects and usually does not result in serious injury to suspects or officers. This investigation will focus on the facts of the incident and will also evaluate the practice in terms of mitigating injuries to suspects and officers.

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