Coon Rapids, MN — An 81-year-old grandma was hospitalized this week after she was attacked by a police K9 while cleaning her shed in her own backyard. Police are now claiming that they ‘acted appropriately’ when they unleashed their dog on this innocent woman.
Choua Xiong got up early Sunday morning to clean out her shed in her backyard. She had done nothing wrong and posed no threat, when police, looking for a ‘suspect’, entered her backyard without a warrant and unleashed their K9 on her.
According to police, a neighbor called 9-1-1 after she saw a suspicious person in a black coat in her backyard. The caller said she heard a loud noise outside but couldn’t tell where it came from. As police investigated, they entered Xiong’s yard and saw a person in her shed. That person was Xiong.
Xiong, who is hard of hearing, did not hear the officers calling for her to come out of the shed. According to police, they yelled for the ‘suspect’ to come out of the shed 10-15 times, however, no one emerged — so they unleashed the dog.
Instead of entering the shed to see if it could’ve been a child with headphones on — or an innocent old woman who was hard of hearing — police sent in their K9 to tear apart whoever it was that couldn’t hear their demands to come out.
The officers could’ve simply waited for the ‘suspect’ to come out of the shed as well. However, they chose to rush to violent escalation. From the time police entered Xiong’s back yard to the time they unleashed the K9 was less than 10 minutes.
“They didn’t see her in the storage. They just see the flashlight. That’s what they told us,” WaamXee Xiong, Xiong’s grandson said. “If you don’t see nothing and you just see some people inside, why did you let your K-9 go in there?”
To add insult to injury, after siccing the K9 on the 81-year-old grandma, they continued to treat her as a suspect. As she is bleeding profusely from the attack, Xiong was then dragged across the yard with so much force and violence that her knees were bruised and her ankle was sprained.
After they had captured their ‘suspect’, it took police nearly 30 minutes to realize that Xiong lived at the house. Thankfully, her grandson WaamXee showed up to tell the officer she’d been cleaning her shed. Forty minutes after being viciously attacked by a police dog and assaulted by police, Xiong was finally brought the hospital.
When news of the story was posted on social media, naturally, the residents of Coon Rapids expressed their outrage. However, the department responded by calling the incident unfortunate but quickly noted that the officers did everything right.
The department understands there is public concern on social media about the way this incident appears at first glance. However, with the facts the officers were dealing with at the time, including dispatch information and assessment of the scene, they responded to the incident in an appropriate manner. Officers are trained to speak clear, simple commands in the hopes that officers can be understood when they are dealing with people on calls. It is always our goal to have a safe outcome for all citizens and officers, no matter the circumstances….
The Coon Rapids Police Department takes reports of suspicious activity very seriously and appreciates the public’s help in alerting officers to suspicious situations. In this case, officers responded to the suspicious person report that occurred at a time of day and under circumstances that led officers to believe they were interrupting a burglary in progress. In this context, officers acted appropriately. Witness reports state K-9 warnings and yelling could be heard loudly in the area as several neighbors woke up to the noise and began turning lights on.
The family has not yet decided if they’ll file a lawsuit or a complaint. However, it is clear that the police will not be held accountable and the only ones who will suffer for this irresponsible act will be the taxpayers and the victim.
In the video below, WaamXee is seen confronting one of the officers involved in releasing the K9. He asks a pertinent question, “what would happen to me if I sicced a dog on your grandma?”