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Police dog accused of attack

Jillian Dickens
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Dec 05/05) - The family of an Iqaluit youth plans to file a complaint against a police dog.

The father of the youth says his son suffered wounds on his arm after a police dog attacked him while handcuffed.

Police have charged the boy with robbery. He has no prior charges. His first court appearance was scheduled for Dec. 5.

On Oct. 8, the boy and four of his friends, who were also charged with robbery, were found walking along the beach carrying property apparently from a sealift container broken into earlier that evening, said police.

When officers arrived on the scene, chaos ensued, according to Cpl. Dean Muir, the handler of the police dog in question, named Lar.

"When we arrived, all of them ran away. One hopped into a cab, two others hid in the bow of a boat and another was hiding behind the boat," said Muir.

The two youth in the boat were apprehended without incident, but the youth behind the boat ran. Lar, an 86-pound German Shepherd, gave chase, Muir said. The boy ran behind a shed and past a handcuffed youth on the ground, said Muir.

"When the dog came around the corner he saw the cuffed guy on the ground, assumed he was the guy he was chasing, and made brief contact. The dog was removed and then went on to apprehend the other guy," explained Muir. "Lar bit him, but he didn't break the skin," he added.

The youth's legal aide representative, Chris Debicki, wants Lar fired.

"This is unacceptable," he said. "This is the second time in the last three months that this dog has attacked someone."

On the idea of "firing" the dog, Muir says, "That's ridiculous. What the dog does is not excessive. He apprehends the suspect and he holds."

A Clyde River man recently filed a complaint against the RCMP, stating that Lar used excessive force to apprehend him on Sept. 23. The man was charged with holding up a cab driver with a knife.

Lar arrived at the Iqaluit detachment in July.