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Calgary senior launches lawsuit after alleged police dog attack
A Calgary man who says he was attacked by a police dog in 2013 is suing the city’s former police chief and five officers for injuries that he says left him unconscious, bruised and in need of stitches.
David Loeppky, 72, has launched a $500,000 lawsuit, plus medical expenses, saying he suffered nightmares due to the traumatic event.
“I have nightmares from that dog attacking me,” he told CTV Calgary. “Those dreams bother me quite a bit.”
The alleged incident happened on Sept. 19, 2013 when Loeppky said he was approached by a woman offering to sell him jewelry outside his home in northeast Calgary.
Loeppky had heard about thieves using jewelry to trick seniors, so told the woman he would go inside for the money and instead called 911.
He said he asked the call operator if he could use his shotgun to detain the woman, and was told no. He now believes this may have set off a red flag.
Loeppky said he returned and told the woman he didn’t have the money, so she left.
He said police then called to follow up while he was running errands, and asked to meet. Loeppky said he provided directions to his church, where he needed to pick up a trailer. When he arrived, Loeppky said a swarm of police cars were sitting in the parking lot.
Police told the then-70-year-old to get out of his pick-up truck, Loeppky said, and that when he asked why, “all hell broke loose.”
He said two officers tried to pull him out of his vehicle’s window but “it wasn’t working.” Loeppky said a police dog then tried to jump through his car window, and when the dog didn’t make it, that the handler “threw it up in my face.”
“I was lucky enough to lift my shoulder high enough, and (the dog) bit me on the shoulder,” he said.
Loeppky was taken out of the vehicle, and said police shoved his face into the pavement, causing him to lose a tooth. Loeppky said he then lost consciousness, and when he came to, he said he was wearing handcuffs.
Police took him to the hospital, where Loeppky said he was treated for a separated shoulder and more than a dozen stitches as a result of the bite. Loeppky said police didn’t charge him, but didn’t offer an explanation either.
“I am upset with what happened, I’m terrified by what happened,” Loeppky told CTV Calgary. “I don’t want that to happen even to a poor crook.”
Calgary police said they unable to comment on the incident due to the lawsuit, but the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which investigates police complaints, said it is looking into the incident and will soon make a decision in their investigation.
With files from CTV Calgary.