Thursday, August 18, 2016

British police 'refused to Taser dog as it savaged dogwalker to death – because they feared it would kill the ANIMAL'

A 52-year-old man has died in a savage dog attack in Huddersfield that happened as he was walking his own dog.

David Ellam, was injured yesterday morning trying to shield his Yorkshire terrier from an attacking Staffordshire bull terrier-Labrador cross that had previously been reported to the police. He died hours later.

According to one witness, police officers at the scene of the attack did not Taser the animal as they were worried they would kill it.

The drama happened at about 9.45am in Riddings Road, Sheepridge, close to the victim's home.

Mr Ellam, who reportedly declined an opportunity to stab the dog as it savaged him, was treated by paramedics and taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where he was pronounced dead at 9pm.

The 29-year-old male owner of the dog was arrested and later released on bail.

West Yorkshire Police said a dog warden had visited the address following concerns from members of the public about the same animal being a dangerous breed in June 2016.

It was seized by police who determined that it was not a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act, and it was returned to its owner on August 8.

Witnesses to the attack described how the victim let out 'blood curdling screams' as the animal clamped its jaws around his head.

They said the Staffie-cross ripped off his kneecap before shaking his head 'like a rag' as it attempted to drag him into his kennel.

One witness said the police refused to Taser the animal amid fears they would kill it and the dog only relented when his owner arrived home from work.

The resident - who asked not to be named - said: 'I was sitting inside watching Jeremy Kyle then I heard screams of "help, this dog is attacking me".

'As soon as I saw the dog attacking him I ran inside and called the owner, who told me he would be there in a minute.

'I went back outside and the victim was shouting 'can someone get this dog off my f***ing leg'.  'And by that time his kneecap was completely gone and blood was everywhere.

'And while someone else was ringing for the police, the dog latched onto the guy's head and had him in a vice.  'The dog then started ragging his head from side to side.

'The victim was shouting and wailing 'help me' in a blood-curdling type of splattering noise - it was awful.

'The police then turned up but said they wouldn't use their Tasers on the dog to stop it because they thought they would kill it.

'Someone else got out a hosepipe and used that at the dog - but it still wouldn't let go and kept on dragging the man closer to its kennel.

'There was literally blood everywhere - but it wasn't until the dog owner got back from work and shouted 'Ross' that the dog let go and it freed him.'

Police say in October 2012 a dog control order was issued to Kirklees Council against the dog and its owner - putting conditions in place for the management of the animal. The order remains in place to this day.

Residents said Mr Ellam had previously clashed with the owner over the dog.

'The neighbour who was attacked was the one who reported the dog to the police for being dangerous in the first place.

The dog, which is usually chained up in a pen outside the owner's flat in Riddings Road, was said to have been running loose at the time of the attack.

Another neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: 'I went over to the gate and that was enough for me, I had to turn away. It was horrific.  'He was on the ground and the dog had his arm.'

'When the owner arrived and saw what had happened, he put his hands on his head, like 'what has my dog done?'.'

Shocked neighbours threw Mr Ellam a kitchen knife urging him to stab the animal as it locked its jaws around him but he did not use it.

When police arrived an officer tackled the bloodied dog with a fire extinguisher. It was later seized and taken away.

It is not known if the dog will now be destroyed.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift of West Yorkshire Police, who is leading the investigation, said: 'Clearly our thoughts go out to the family at this tragic time.

'They are understandably devastated by what has happened and are being supported by specially trained officers.

The suspect dog has been detained in kennels by the police and a referral has been made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Asked for a response to the claim that officers refused to Taser the dog, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman replied: "The police dispatched a firearms unit but the dog was detained using non-lethal methods."

Original report here

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