Off-duty Norfolk K-9 jumps fence, bites three men

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WAVY – NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk police said one of their K-9s bit three people Tuesday morning.

Investigators say the Norfolk officer left the K-9 unattended in his fenced backyard and the German Shepherd bit three men in the 2000 block of Willow Wood Drive, shortly after 11 a.m.

DOCUMENT: Norfolk Police K-9 policy

Police believe the dog jumped a fence and ran about two blocks before running into the victims. Investigators could not say what caused the dog to bite the men.

Emily Brookens was pulling into her driveway when she heard the victims yelling for help. She said at least four men were involved in the struggle. She said, one of the men had an axe and was using it to fend the dog off.

"I just really feel like every single animal is unpredictable," said Brookens.

Brookens said she did not know the dog involved was a K-9. She did see a man come and retrieve the dog from behind a garage.

"Somebody came and got it," said Brookens. "They weren't in their uniform or anything like that. They just obviously were the owners so I just thought it was a regular dog."

Each handler has a large kennel that the dogs are supposed to be in when they are not supervised. This dog was not in its kennel and was only left unsupervised for about five minutes.

DOCUMENT: Standard Operating Procedures

Police say everyone involved should recover, including the K-9 who was cut during the incident. They say animal control officers are keeping the dog isolated for now.

The K-9 handler has been with the department for six years and is on administrative duty while the department investigates.

Back in January, a Norfolk Police K-9 bit NSU student London Colvin, who was leaving a party off campus. One month later, police chief Mike Goldsmith said, the use of force was unreasonable and he started a review process of the department's K-9 policy.

In April, it was discovered four officers no longer worked for the department and a fifth was suspended because of this incident.