Police dog hospitalises 10-year-old boy in attack
A police dog has bitten a 10-year-old boy in the West Midlands and left the child needing hospital treatment after being badly injured.
The animal bit Tom Cutbill up to three times on Sunday afternoon during a police search for metal thieves in the Oldbury area of Sandwell, according to Sky News.
The dog was on a leash with its handler when it entered the private back garden where the boy was playing, during the pursuit.
Tom required two hospital operations after the German Shepherd cross mauled his right leg. He is now recovering at the family home in Rowley Regis.
The boy’s father was disgusted and shocked at what had happened. Martin Cutbill, 40, a warehouse manager, told Sky News: "I am disgusted and want to know how this was allowed to happen. I am shocked and amazed.
"My son has gone through a terrible time. He is only recently out of hospital, starting to take his first steps on crutches. It happened on Sunday afternoon.
"There were quite a few puncture wounds and tears to his skin. We haven't heard much from the police."
The attack was witnessed by the child’s grandmother who told the local newspaper the Express and Star that it was "like a horror movie".
West Midlands Police have issued an unreserved apology to Tom and his family.
An Independent Police Complaints Commision has been informed and the force is also carrying out its own investigation into the incident.
The dog’s handler had been called to support some fellow officers in their search for four men who were seen running away from a quantity of copper wiring.
Chief Inspector Ian Marsh said: "This poor young boy has gone through an absolutely horrendous ordeal and my thoughts are with him and his family as he recovers from his injuries.
"We apologise unreservedly for what has happened and have launched an investigation to fully understand exactly how an innocent young lad came to be bitten by a police dog in the safety of his own back garden.
"Police dogs and their handlers receive intensive training and play crucial roles in the arrest of suspects day in, day out, but on the very rare occasions where things go wrong, it's vital we understand why and learn the lessons to ensure it doesn't happen again."
The officer and the dog involved continue to carry out regular duties after an initial independent assessment.