A man who suffered personal injuries after being bitten by a Contra Costa County, California sheriff’s dog after he fled deputies in Rodeo, California, but was never charged with any crime, has filed a $1 million suit against the county.
According to 27-year-old Treon Pique, he had already surrendered in a backyard on September 26, 2007 when a deputy told the dog to “get him.” Pique was bitten on the right arm by the dog, sustaining permanent injuries, according to the suit.
The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, California on September 19, alleges that Deputy Robert Jones was aware that Pique posed no threat, but still allowed the dog to bite him.
Pique’s attorney said that it seemed as if the dog was used to torture Pique and the deputy may have wanted to punish Pique for running.
Contra Costa County, Jones, and Sheriff Warren Rupf were named as defendants in the suit.
According to Pique, on the day of the incident he was standing on a street corner waiting for a friend when Jones pulled up and yelled an obscenity-laced command for him to move along.
The suit states that Pique had committed no crime, had no weapons or drugs on him, and was not on probation or parole, but still ran because he was “in fear of the deputy and his unwarranted aggression toward him.”
According to the suit, Pique rushed to the nearby home of a friend’s aunt, but was unable to get in, so he hid behind a storage shed in the backyard. He surrendered when Jones and other deputies caught up with him, but as he was on his knees, the dog began to attack him.
The suit says that he was bitten on the right biceps and triceps and was kicked in the ribs and punched in the face by Jones.
Since the attack, Pique has undergone two surgical procedures to close the open wound from the dog bites and repair nerve damage. He also claims that he suffered a broken rib and a year later has no feeling in three fingers and his right forearm.