Ohio police dog case involving bites moves forward

CINCINNATI (AP) — A 2008 civil-rights lawsuit is moving forward against a former Ohio police officer and his department over a police dog that bit multiple suspects with what attorneys say was potentially deadly force, even though they were posing no threat.

The 4-year-old case against the city of Springboro in southwestern Ohio, its police department, the police chief and former canine Officer Nick Clark is now one step closer to reaching a jury after a federal appeals panel declined to dismiss the case.

In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Cincinnati wrote that a reasonable jury could find that Clark acted maliciously when he used his police dog, Spike, to track two separate suspects in unrelated cases, including an 18-year-old woman who had been caught drinking at a party.

Both instances led to serious bites, with the attorney for both suspects saying that they still have scars and walk with limps.

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