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GPD issues statement on K-9 apprehension incident

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Recently, several posts and images have circulated on social media that have garnered the attention and concern of some of our neighbors.

The initial information reflects that on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at approximately 10:39 p.m., a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation as it exited Sweetwater Square Apartments (3501 NE 15th Street). The officer initiated a traffic stop by activating the marked patrol vehicle’s lights at the intersection of NE 15th Street and NE 39th Avenue.

The vehicle decreased its speed, but continued to travel west on NE 39th Avenue, turning into and stopping at Eden Park Apartments (1330 NE 39th Avenue). The officer made contact with the driver at their vehicle window. The officer reported that he observed contraband in plain sight and suspicious behavior, to include – the driver placing his hand toward the floorboard. The officer requested the driver exit his vehicle, and the driver complied. The officer attempted to conduct a pat down of the driver, who resisted these efforts by physically contacting the officer and running away on foot. The officer gave chase and lost sight of the driver. Back-up units were then requested. While on scene, the abandoned vehicle was searched, and a stolen, loaded firearm was located under the driver’s seat, as well as ammunition in the vehicle. In addition, the driver left behind his ID, which the officer confirmed was the same person. A records check revealed the driver was a convicted felon.

In an effort to apprehend the driver, officers remained in the immediate area searching for the driver, with their patrol lights activated, for approximately one hour. Due to the nature of the crimes (felony firearm offenses), a canine officer responded and a track was initiated. This process includes the canine officer being guided by the police canine on a leash. The canine apprehended the driver hiding behind bushes, and the driver was placed under arrest. Officers observed injury to the driver, and EMS was immediately requested and responded. The driver was transported via ambulance to the hospital. Due to the driver’s injuries, he was transported to a hospital outside of Gainesville for medical care. As a result, an arrest warrant was requested and granted by a judge for the following charges and related bond amounts with nationwide extradition:

POSSESSION OF CANNABIS LESS THAN 20 GRAMS – $1,000;
POSSESSION OF FIREARM, AMMUNITION OR ELECTRIC WEAPON BY CONVICTED FELON – $50,000; POSSESSION OF FIREARM, AMMUNITION OR ELECTRIC WEAPON BY CONVICTED FELON – $50,000; and RESISTING AN OFFICER WITH VIOLENCE – $50,000.

As per GPD’s policy and procedure, when a person sustains injury due to apprehension by a police canine, an initial response-to-resistance review is conducted. This includes a review of all available reports, photographs, and body-worn and in-car camera footage. Due to the seriousness of the injuries sustained, GPD Chief Lonnie Scott directed on Thursday, July 14th, 2022, that he be provided a review and thorough debriefing to be concluded within the next 7 to 10 days. Further information may be provided upon the conclusion of this review.

We recognize some of our neighbors may feel disturbed by the images circulating on social media. Rest assured, GPD will be transparent during the review process and we will provide our neighbors with an accurate accounting of this incident. We ask for your patience as the internal review and related processes occur.

We welcome our community to review GPD policies and procedures, which are available on our website at gainesvillepd.org.

  • I wouldn’t trust this review or the account in this announcement further than I could throw a police cruiser. GPD seems to be doing a lot of damage control latey in the press and why on earth do you guys keep holding court and pronouncing a person guilty BEFORE they’ve had THEIR day in court? GUILTY until proven innocent even if the case gets dropped. GPD leadership is an embarrassment to truth and justice. More to come…

    • So, it seems that a certain segment of the population is offended by pictures of a dog bite inflicted on a convicted felon during his apprehension for yet another felony crime. It follows that this same segment of the population would be FAR LESS OFFENDED by an image of the GPD Officer down on the pavement. Thanks to GPD for taking another one off the streets.

      • Judging by these comments I’m
        Assuming that the other privileged population don’t understand it’s not so much of the dog bite itself it’s your population letting a dog bite a person enough where they get these type of injuries.. they’ll never understand as long as they are the other population while you got a whole armed murderer who was walked out in handcuffs with no injuries

        • See this is the exact problem with you liberal panty wearing idiots, you totally disregard what brought the individual to the meeting with the police k9 in the first place. Had the guy not been out committing crimes, followed commands from the police and not ran from authorities he wouldn’t have had to worry about law enforcement using a dog to track and find him. Under your disillusional thoughts everything’s okay until you lose an eye and then everyone else is at fault. Next you’ll be wanting to defund using police dogs! I can assure you of one thing though and that is the next time this individual decides he may want to run he’ll think twice because of that eye he no longer has and what happened the last time he did. Good job GPD and ASO for trying to rid our streets of this trash and working to keep us safe.

    • When you’re pulled over do you get out and run? Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s what every innocent person does right?

  • Maybe none of this would have happened if, once again, the citizen obeyed the officer’s lawful commands? Just like in, well, every officer-involved shooting case?🤔

  • Another ‘innocent’ victim…..soon to be driving a new Escalade courtesy of Gville taxpayers?

  • Maybe some of the drugs bled out of his system and he’ll start thinking straighter. Seriously, police dogs are trained to bite an arm and hold. It sounds like he was trying to fight the dog and he lost. Hopefully the pictures will be a lesson to others.

  • Notice he did NOT get cited for the alleged initial “traffic violation” he was pulled over for. Guess GPD cannot find the criminal code for “DWB.”

    • Nah… written warning only for the violation.. this way the court can’t “dismiss” the warning and it won’t count against the case in the suppression hearing later.

  • This is disturbing. The actions taken by police don’t match the damage inflicted and why take a week to address the incident? I’m pro-police but not pro cover up. If the man had a weapon, I could understand the use of K9. Scott’s response doesn’t add up.

  • The whole thing was probably over in a few seconds. He could be dead if it was a serious dog attack. It seems to me that he must have tried to fight with the dog just like he had fought with the officer to get away. The dog is not going to lie down like some criminal’s ‘bitch’ (no pun intended) if it is getting attacked and feels threatened. What a harsh reality check, right?

  • Heard the “victim” is the son of a retired GPD officer. If that is indeed the case, did the system fail or did the father fail?
    I would expect if there was anyone who would teach their son not to run from the police it would be a police officer.

    • You know that’s funny that you say that because I seen that on the news last night as well and was thinking the same exact thing. It’s sad because it looks like the guy’s father was in his life of some sort but as the old adage goes you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Some people have to learn the hard way but Liberals won’t take that into account tho. It’s all about the actions of the police officer that night and not the fact that he was out committing crimes, he’s a convicted felon and was in possession of a stolen firearm and drugs. I highly doubt the dog had anything to do with his eye and if I had to bet on it I would say he more than likely was struck by a limb running in the bushes while it was dark.

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