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City reaches settlement in police dog bite case

The City of Charleston resolved a court case in connection with a police dog bite that left a...
The City of Charleston resolved a court case in connection with a police dog bite that left a man hospitalized.(WSAZ/Blake Whitener)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 9:44 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The city of Charleston resolved a court case in connection with a police dog bite that left a man hospitalized.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, a resolution was passed to resolve the case of Johny L. Barker v. City of Charleston.

City officials say the case had been in court for more than a year. Barker, who was homeless, was in the crawlspace of an abandoned home, and a Charleston Police K-9 unit responded to a call regarding the abandoned house.

The K-9, who had titanium teeth replacements from a veterinarian’s recommendations, bit Barker’s leg and he was hospitalized for 20 days due to his injuries. According to the suit, the dog did not initially obey its officer’s commands to release the suspect.

Barker will receive $45,000 in the resolution.

“This is a resolution that I believe is in the best interest of the city. It does bring finality, and it does limit the potential exposure,” City Attorney Kevin Baker said. “This is a situation where our officers did the right thing. They did the best they could under the circumstances. But, with any trial, any litigation, there’s always risks involved, and by settling it, we remove those risks.”

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