• Farrell, however, says that he was already being held to the ground, his right arm handcuffed, while the dog attacked his left arm. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
A Yamatji man alleges a police dog was allowed to attack him while he was surrounded by up to a dozen WA police officers.
By
Aaron Fernandes

Source:
NITV News
13 Nov 2020 - 1:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Nov 2020 - 3:04 PM

A Yamatji man was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, after he was mauled by a Western Australian Police dog last week.

The incident occurred shortly after 11pm on November 6, after police attended a home in Rangeway, near Geraldton in WA’s mid-west.

A woman had called police to report that her partner was intoxicated and becoming abusive.

When officers arrived, 32-year-old Chris Farrell said he verbally abused one of the officers, who called for backup.

“There was three of them that took me down. Several more came, and while I was on the ground, the dog came through and chewed into my arm,” Mr Farrell said.

“When I asked the handler to get him off, he tried to get him to heal. I saw the fright in his eyes, like he couldn’t stop the dog from ripping my arm up.”

WA Police say that Mr Farrell immediately became verbally abusive and aggressive towards officers, using a loud and threatening tone. 

“Despite police attempts to negotiate a resolution, the man continued being aggressive and issuing verbal threats,” a WA Police spokesperson said.

“As the man’s behaviour continued, he was placed under arrest.  While being escorted to a police vehicle, he began to struggle and attempted to break free from officers.” 

WA Police said that Farrell and a police officer, the Midwest-Gascoyne Dog Handler, fell to the ground.

“The man was on top of the officer and despite the attempts of another officer to remove the man, the struggle carried on,” a spokesperson says.

“The Dog Handler, fearing for his safety, deployed the dog from the police vehicle using the remote release. The dog came to the aid of his handler and bit the man, enabling the handler to free himself.”

Mr Farrell, however, said that he was already being held to the ground, his right arm handcuffed, while the dog attacked his left arm.

“I didn’t even know the dog was there at all, it just came through and started ripping into me,” he said.

Mr Farrell estimates there were around 5 police vehicles and up to 12 officers at the premises, while the dog attack lasted between two and three minutes.

Police initially provided first aid at the scene before calling an ambulance.

Mr Farrell said he remained on the ground for between 10-20 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

“I was still laying on my back with one arm handcuffed, and a cop holding the arm up that was pissing blood. They lifted me up as soon as the ambulance got there,” he said.

“I couldn’t move…I wasn’t allowed to move”.

Mr Farrell was taken by ambulance to Geraldton Regional Hospital where he was treated and discharged an hour later.

He said doctors told him he had sustained several bites, including two serious and three superficial wounds.

Mr Farrell was released from police custody at the hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning, and called his mother to take him home. 

He has returned to Geraldton hospital multiple times this week to have the wounds checked and re-bandaged.

“I still see that dog chewing on my arm when I go to sleep,” he told NITV News.

Farrell will appear in court at a later date, charged with making threats, disorderly behaviour and obstructing police.

He was also issued a Police Order relating to the domestic violence complaint.  

Farrell’s sister posted picture’s of his injuries on social media.

WA Police Midwest and Gascoyne also shared an account of the incident on Facebook.

“This was a volatile situation with a number of people present, taunting police,” the WA Police spokesperson said.

While officers were wearing body cameras, WA Police have not released footage of the incident. The matter is now before the courts.

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