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Off-duty B.C. cop ‘mauled’ by police dog launches lawsuit

Click to play video: 'Off-duty officer suing after RCMP dog bite'
Off-duty officer suing after RCMP dog bite
WATCH: A Metro Vancouver police inspector has launched a lawsuit after he was wrongly identified as a suspect and mauled by an RCMP dog while off-duty. Catherine Urquhart reports. – May 9, 2023

A Metro Vancouver police inspector is suing the province, the City of Delta and two police officers, claiming he was assaulted by officers and mauled by a police dog.

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday, Manjinder Singh Kaila alleges battery, negligence and breach of statutory duties over the incident two years ago, which involved the RCMP’s Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service.

“I think it’s fair to say this circumstance is this plaintiff’s nightmare,” Kaila’s lawyer John Rice told Global News.

“He has dedicated his entire working career to law enforcement, and he knows that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement do their job well and safely.”

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Lawsuit filed against ex-Delta cop fired for sexual communications with would-be recruit

The incident happened May 29, 2021, at about 9:30 p.m.

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Kaila was off-duty at the time and in his driveway outside his Surrey home, when he heard a loud bang.

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In the suit, Kaila, who is South Asian, claims he saw a pickup truck on his neighbour’s lawn, then saw a Caucasian man and woman running from the scene. Moments later several officers arrived and were in pursuit, along with a service dog.

Kaila, himself a former dog handler, claims in the suit that he yelled several times, “I’m not involved, it wasn’t me.”

The suit alleges ”the Plaintiff’s next awareness was of a police officer on top of him “and that “the Plaintiff heard an officer issue a command to the German Sheppard and in direct response the dog bit and mauled the plaintiff’s left leg and calf.”

“It’s his evidence the police dog showed no interest in him. It appeared to him to be pursuing the airborne scent of the actual suspect elsewhere and away from him,” Rice told Global News.

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Kaila says the bite wounds and lacerations to his left leg required 12 to 14 staples, leaving him with permanent scarring, along with injuries to the ankle, calf, back and shoulders, requiring ongoing treatment.

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It has caused him sleep disturbance, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, he further claims.

The suit goes on to allege negligence on the basis of the officers failing to identify themselves as police, failing to establish reasonable and probable grounds to use force against Kaila, failure to assess whether Kaila met the description of the fair-skinned male suspect and the use of excessive force.

“The question will be whether punitive damages are merited to express the court’s condemnation of what’s happened to denounce police brutality but also hopefully to deter such uses of excessive force in the future,” Rice said.

The suit names Const. Sarbjeet Singh, a Delta police dog handler, who at the time was seconded to the RCMP. It also names RCMP Const. Paul Baker, the municipality and B.C.’s minister of public safety.

The defendants have 21 days to respond to the claim. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office says their investigation of the file is ongoing.

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