Margate, FL-- If there is one thing you can do to actually get kicked off a police force, Renzo, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois police k-9 has figured it out. You do not mess with donuts.
Last week, Officer Carl DiBlasi, 53, was parked in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot meeting up with a sergeant. The sergeant was reportedly petting Renzo through the open window of DiBlasi's police vehicle when the dog lunged at her. Despite the officer trying to contain her, the dog then jumped out the window and began to charge a third officer.
DiBlasi was screaming the dog's name and the command for incorrect behavior, but the determined dog continued to rampage. It ultimately went after Dunkin Donuts employee Robert Doherty, 37, who was reaching into his vehicle for his work apron.
The man attempted to jump into his car but was violently bitten on the leg four times, leaving wounds two to three inches long, on his right calf and shin, the Sun Sentinel reported. The officer had to pry the dog off the man, "after less than a minute of struggling."
This attack wasn't the first exhibit of the K9 officers inadequate training and handling, either. In November, the dog also bit another officer multiple times during a search for a suspect.
Florida's dog bite statute, Section 767.04, states that the owner of a dog that causes injury to another human being is directly liable for said injuries.
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The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness.
The owner of this dog actually knew of the "former viciousness" yet the dog was still allowed out in public. The negligence surrounding this case is rife.
Another disturbing facet of this case is that Florida law requires dogs that bite people to be at the very least quarantined, and often results in the putting down of that animal if the attack is vicious enough. However, you guessed it; there is an exemption in the statute for cops and their dogs, Section 767.16. Sadly it seems, that even police dogs are above the law.
If this had been a family pet, the dog would have been shot and killed without a second thought. The police kill a dog approximately every 98 minutes in the united states, seemingly for no reason at all, and just like when they kill human beings, this is generally done with impunity.
One only has to browse through our “puppycide” section to understand how widespread this disturbing trend is.
What makes this even more tragic is that not a single officer has been killed by a dog in the past 50 years, yet they "fear for their life" often enough to kill a dog nearly 15 times a day?
Fortunately for Renzo, he is still protected by the thin blue line and will be going to live with DiBlasi since he has been retired from the force.