It’s been almost a year since Henderson, Nevada police Sergeant James Mitchell dispatched his service dog, a Belgian Malinois named Doerak, into a vehicle where 17-month old Ayleen Alvarez sat in the back seat. Doerak attacked little Alvarez, leaving her with puncture wounds. The police department recently released dashcam videos of the incident.
On January 30, 2015, Henderson police were looking for a robbery suspect of African descent who was wearing a black t-shirt. Officers subsequently surrounded an SUV driven by Ayleen’s father, Arturo Arenas-Alvarez, and ordered him out the car. The older Alvarez doesn’t speak English, which initially presented communication challenges to the officers.
Although the officers quickly realized that Alvarez, a Latino, was not the suspect, no one appeared to pass this data to Sgt. Mitchell, who arrived at the scene later.
Within seconds — and with the older Alvarez cooperating with the officers’ investigation — Sgt Mitchell released the dog.
Local TV journalist Antonio Castelan reported the Henderson police department’s explanation for Sgt. Mitchell’s actions: he thought his fellow officers were in danger (Click story video on the web page.)
Sounds like a familiar story.
Sgt. Mitchell’s punishment for bad judgment? Self-imposed removal from K-9 duty to regular patrol.
I suppose he won’t need good judgment in that capacity!
Dashcam video is embedded below …
song currently stuck in my head: “you don’t love me baby” – junior wells