US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Man subdued by dogs has video for witness

Miami Herald 01/08/2005

Lawyers for a Margate man severely bitten by Broward Sheriff's Office dogs last April say BSO used excessive force by not restraining the animals.

The lawyers say the incident was captured on a security video taken during John M. Barton's arrest, during which he was bitten 12 times by three dogs.

Barton's lawyers say the video clearly shows him putting his left arm outside his car window in a gesture of surrender, though the blurred, jerky footage makes it difficult to discern.

A dog leapt to grab Barton's arm, and jumped into the car. A second officer then let another dog into the passenger side; next, the two dogs dragged Barton out of the car and onto the pavement, where he lay on his stomach with blood pooling beneath him, surrounded by officers and dogs.

It's hard to tell from the video whether Barton struggled or resisted the dogs. As one of the dogs wandered off, a third joined in, standing near Barton, then biting his leg, nearly severing his Achilles tendon.

A deposition from a Deerfield Beach Fire-Rescue paramedic said that part of Barton's bicep was missing and not recovered.

Barton was taken to Broward General Medical Center, where he spent nine days in the hospital for severe injuries. Paramedics said he'd lost nearly two liters of blood.


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