Wilkes-Barre, PA — A city park is supposed to be a place where citizens can find refuge, enjoy a sunny day, or have a picnic. But what happened in Wilkes-Barre, PA could hardly be considered idyllic. Bystanders and onlookers watched in horror as Wilkes-Barre police allowed their K9 maul a homeless man who was reportedly only taking a nap.
Joshua Fought said he woke up to find a police officer apparently intimidating his elderly female friend. He yelled at the officer to get the dog away from her, and quickly found himself locked in the dog’s powerful jaws. The attack, which was caught on video, prompted Fought to speak out about what happened to him in his hometown.
On this past Tuesday, July 18, around 4 pm, I was attacked viciously by a police K9, for no good reason. I was relaxing in the WB square Park, when an officer approached my vicinity (ten feet from me) with the K9 on a leash. After the dog lunged at my 68 year old female friend, I said, “Don’t let that dog lunge at my girlfriend!”
What happened next is nothing short of nightmarish, according to Fought. He said the officer then let his dog sic him and maul him, seriously injuring the man.
He then released the dog on me. I had never even left the spot I was sitting in, let alone “resist arrest”. The K9 preceded to thrash my lower back while on my side, for what felt like 5 minutes straight, maybe more or less.
Fought said the only thing memorable was the pain and the practical impossibility of complying with the officer’s commands to stop resisting while a German Shepherd is separating his flesh from his bones.
The only thing I remember during the attack (besides the pain), is towards the end, the officer ordering me ‘get on your stomach’, which I physically couldn’t do.
Finally the dog was removed somehow, and I was put into handcuffs.
The painful ordeal did not leave Fought unscathed. According to the victim, he has already undergone one surgery and needs yet another to repair the damage.
The EMTs took me on a stretcher to WB general hospital, where I was notified I would need surgery. The officers RELEASED my cuffs after a few hours, and told me ‘hospital security would watch me’. They did surgery by 10 pm, sewing in some type of suture. I was released from the hospital 2 days later, was told I would need another surgery in 10 days.
From the video taken by an onlooker, the public seemed to be visibly disturbed with the mauling with several people yelling for the officer to restrain the animal. As the public moved in to implore the officer to stop, other officers arrived and established a perimeter which is when the video stops.
It’s important to remember if someone in the general public sicced their dog on someone, they could possibly be charged with attempted murder. But since the dog is a police K9 the procedure is often justified under the law, but that doesn’t make it right, and it might still be illegal.
Fought is seeking legal counsel and is considering suing the police department for infringing on his federally protected civil rights. He’s already reached out to the ACLU and is considering his next steps. According to Fought, he has yet to be charged with any crime.
I have gotten no charges thus far. Hope to update soon with pictures and/or video. Have called a few lawyers and the ACLU, but no response yet
Heard next day from my 68 year old female friend, it was the dog’s first day on the job.
Concerned citizens in Wilkes-Barre are now calling for an investigation and for the officer who allowed his dog to maul a man who was sleeping in a public park to be fired.
For years we have been warning our readers of the dangers of falling into the Prison Industrial Complex which has been established to take people like Fought, and funnel them into the system by provoking charges of “resisting arrest” and “interfering” to justify their abuse. Now, it seems, they’re using attack dogs to achieve their devious ends. What human wouldn’t fight back as a dog is mauling them? It’s time for an awakening.