The mother of a Palo Alto teen has filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of her son, saying he was hurt in an unprovoked attack by a police dog.
According to the complaint, T.M. (no further information was provided in the lawsuit) was standing with some friends on a corner in Palo Alto on April 7, 2016, when police officers pulled up with guns drawn. Witnesses say there was a police dog in the cruiser and that it came out of the vehicle and attacked the youth. The lawsuit alleges that he sustained lacerations and scrapes to his body, as well as puncture wounds on his legs and hands. The complaint alleges that the officers took no action to call off the dog.
Witnesses also contend that, when the police car arrived, T.M. immediately put his hands in the air and offered no resistance. There were no outstanding warrants for his arrest, and he was not on parole or probation. Palo Alto police acknowledge that T.M. was arrested, but that no charges were subsequently filed against him.
In addition to the personal injury claim, the lawsuit alleges violation of civil rights, assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The civil suit also accuses Palo Alto police of using excessive and unnecessary force, and of conducting an unlawful search. T.M.’s mother says he still experiences physical pain and emotional trauma.
A claim filed with the city asked for damages in excess of $500,000.
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