Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – A police dog chasing a suspect ends up attacking the wrong man.
Instead of going after the suspected car thief, the dog mauled a delivery driver.
The delivery driver says he had no idea the dog that attacked him was a police dog.
Police say the handler lost sight of her dog and it attacked the wrong person.
“That was a bite, a deep bite,” said Gerardo Garcia about one of his wounds. “I have scratches everywhere.”
They are wounds Garcia says he got from a Stockton police K9 officer who attacked him while he was delivering a truck load of vegetables to a local grocery store.
Investigators say the dog thought Garcia was the bad guy undercover cops were chasing.
“He got on top of me and he scratched me on my chest,” said Garcia.
Garcia says he had no idea it was a police dog because police say the dog turned the corner without its undercover handler.
Once the handler caught up, Garcia says the officer treated him like the criminal.
“I’m like telling her ‘hey get your dog, I’m just working here I’m just doing my job,’ ” said Garcia.
Garcia was fighting to get the dog to stop the attack, and says the officer cuffed him and allowed her police dog to bite him again.
Moments later the K9 picked up the scent of the suspect hiding under Garcia’s delivery truck.
“She was rude, she was so rude she don’t say sorry or nothing to me,” said Garcia.
The police department says they are investigating what went wrong.
“This is an accident. This is not something that was intentionally done. Our dogs are not trained to go after people who are not being violent,” said Officer Joseph Silva, Stockton police.
Garcia hopes something is done to prevent attacks on the innocent.
“He’s an officer, the dog is an officer. They train him and everything. I don’t why he attacked me when he knows the smell of the other guy. They just got to do their job better, you know?” said Garcia.
Dogs are trained monthly, are police will see if additional training is needed.
Garcia is considering taking legal action against the city.