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Indianapolis, Indiana

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Chrissie Cole
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Family to Sue Police Department Over Dog Bite

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The family of a man who suffered a dog bite when he was bit by an Evansville Police Department K-9 during an arrest, is planning to sue the police department.

The man, 33, is facing misdemeanor charges for failure to appear and is being held at Vanderburgh County Jail for a parole violation for missing a parole check in meeting.

Officials say he jumped out of a window when officers arrived and was found a short time after hiding in bushes nearby, when he was bit on the back of his head and on his right leg by a K-9 dog.

The man alleges the arrest happened differently. He admits to jumping out the window, but claims he approached the police but was told to step aside. He sat down on a trampoline in the next yard and was not trying to escape when the K-9 discovered him and bit him on the head. The dog bite to the leg didn’t come until after he was handcuffed and held by officers.

“I was already handcuffed and they just let the dog latch onto my leg,” VanHorn said during an interview at the jail. “I don’t understand why they allowed the dog to chew on me like that.”

Rarick, his mother, said she has already met with an attorney who agreed to take on the lawsuit, she too can’t understand the police explanation.

“Even if it was someone who harmed somebody in my family, I don’t think they have the right to have it attack someone’s face or head — especially if they already have him in custody,” she said. “Nobody deserves that.”