Punta Gorda, FL — An officer’s dashcam video uploaded to YouTube this week shows a disturbing scene unfold as a police officer stops a man on a bicycle. An unarmed, shirtless, shoeless man is mauled for several minutes by a police K-9.
The reason for the stop, according to the uploader, was the cyclist was riding without a light on his bike.
As the video begins, the man on the bike is riding away from the police officer, despite the officer telling him to stop. However, after a 15-20 second slow ride down the road, the man eventually stops. That’s when all hell breaks loose.
As the man gets off the bike, he puts his hands up and faces the officer. As the officer yells at him to get on his knees, it becomes apparent that the man is in a state of mental duress.
If what the uploader says is true, that this stop was for a bicycle light only, what happened next is nothing short of torturous criminal action. Just before siccing the dog on the man, he had apparently caused no harm to anyone and was simply riding his bicycle down the road.
It was the officer’s choice to escalate to the graphic violence in the video below.
Because the man was in a diminished mental state, he was not complying precisely and as quickly as the officer demanded, so he released his dog. For the next several minutes, the dog tore into the man as he screams in agony.
About one minute into the mauling, in between shouts of “Stop Resisting,” the officer tells the dog, “Good boy,” as it tears the man’s flesh from his arm.
The officer continues to yell at the man to stop resisting as if someone can simply lay calmly as a dog tears a hole in them.
Finally, the officer stops the attack, after the scene begins to resemble a horror movie. As other officers arrive, the man lays on the ground, covered in his own blood and bleeding out.
When other officers see how badly injured he is, they had to call in for a helicopter to medivac him to the nearest hospital.
Below is a graphic example of an unnecessary violent escalation. In many departments, using a K9 to assist in an arrest or to physically engage or bite a suspect, there must be a reasonable belief that the suspect is armed with a weapon … capable of producing death or significant physical injury or otherwise poses an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to the handler or others, or is engaged in active aggression or escaping. None of those factors were present during this stop.
The Free Thought Project contacted the Punta Gorda police department to get their version of this story, but we have yet to hear back.