Video shows K-9 German Shepherd latch onto and bite screaming domestic violence suspect wanted for choking girlfriend
A video that is now making the rounds on social media shows the moment a K-9 unit German Shepherd latches on to a domestic violence suspect who was trying to flee from the police.
According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the incident occurred in suburban Sioux Falls, South Dakota on the afternoon of May 3, after officers from the Sioux Falls Police Department were called to the residence of 27-year-old Dylan Ites by a woman who claimed he had choked her.
Police said Ites was arguing with his 29-year-old girlfriend, Brooke Michele, about their relationship when he threatened to kill her, and then choked her three times, causing her to lose consciousness.
Before she lost consciousness, she managed to call 911 and report Ites, though he reportedly grabbed her phone and dragged her away by the hair. When officers arrived at the home, Ites ran away, with the officers having to chase him through several backyards.
His eventual confrontation with the police was captured on film by a neighbor, with the video opening with Ites sitting on a window well as an officer holds a barking K-9 unit dog named Spike on its leash. When Ites refuses to get out of the window well and surrender despite repeated instructions, the officer warns, "Get out dude, or you're gonna get bit!"
But Ites still does not cooperate, with another officer then arriving on the scene in a patrol car and issuing a similar warning. "The dog will bite you! Back up!" the second officer says, just as Spike lunges at the 27-year-old and begins biting him on his side.
One of the officers begins encouraging the K-9 as it attacks Ites and he screams in pain for close to fifteen seconds before the cops take out a handcuff and arrest him.
Since the video went viral, there has been a criticism of the police department for excessive and unnecessary use of force, though they have been refuted. Police spokesman Sam Clemens said the K-9 "did what it was supposed to do," and that Ites had "been given many instructions to lay down or he was going to get bit."
"(The officer) didn't know if the guy had any weapons on him, he didn't know if there were any weapons ... in the window well," he argued. "It was pretty obvious he (Ites) wasn't going to listen to the commands that the officers were giving."
Michele defended the police too, writing in a Facebook post, "Let me make this loud and clear. These officers and K-9 Spike saved my life. He would have come back, found me and killed me. I am forever thankful - words cannot express my gratefulness."
The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that Ites had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment and received stitches for the dog bite before he was released and charged with aggravated domestic assault, interference with emergency communications, resisting arrest, and fleeing police.
Ites has been booked into the county jail and made his first appearance in court on Monday, May 6.
Watch the video of Ites being attacked by the K-9 here: