Police say officer Brian Carter was forced to shoot K9 Benzi after the dog attacked him during training.
On Tuesday Columbus police spoke about that attack.
Officer Brian Carter and K-9 Benzi were partners for two years. Carter was trying to get Benzi¬†to¬†go¬†into a down position at the time of the attack.
“He wouldn’t go into a down position. He was staying upright and the dog was not submitting to the officer’s dominance,” said¬†Sergeant Mark Cartwright
Sergeant Cartwright says no one was around when it happened and there’s no surveillance video.
“He was by himself. It was a Saturday afternoon, so nobody else was on the property,” said Cartwright. “He¬†was able to remain standing. Because if he got on the ground it could have been much worse.”
Police say Officer Carter called for help. Sergeant Cartwright got to the scene and was the one to transport K-9 Benzi to Medvet where he was put to sleep to relieve his suffering.
“We knew at that point, the attack on the officer was really not a bite. It was more of a mauling of the handler and we’d never be able to use that dog again or be able to trust him because it just came out of the blue for no reason,” said Cartwright.
He adds using deadly force was the last option, saying officer Carter tried to reach for his Taser but couldn’t with the way Benzi was on him. He said the dog had never shown this kind of aggression before.
“The dog’s been to many demonstrations, public demonstrations, civic groups, children’s groups. Never displayed any type of aggression at those events at all. He could be vocal at times when he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do and it would require correction but he performed that task after the correction without any problems so this is quite a surprise,” says Sergeant Cartwright.
How is officer Carter doing today?
“He’s still hospitalized and recovering from his injuries and at that point that about all we know,” said Cartwright.
“I’ve been in the K-9 unit it’ll be 19 years next year and I’ve been on the police department almost 40. Very shocked. This has never happened in the history of the K9 unit here in the division of police,” said Sergeant Cartwright.
Cartwright says there will be an investigation into what happened along with a review of policies and procedures.