Campbell police, city being sued for police dog bite

Woman sues Campbell for $75,000 over bite by its police dog to her daughter, 15

By danny restivo


A resident is suing the city and the police department for more than $75,000 because a police dog bit her 15-year-old daughter.

Amber Pagan of Oxford Street is seeking compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

The civil suit was filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Thursday and requests a jury trial.

At 2 a.m. Sept. 30, Storm the police dog was on patrol with his previous handler, Officer John Gulu, when Gulu saw three juveniles at Bright Avenue and 15th Street.

Gulu left his patrol car to speak to the juveniles when a fourth person came from across the street behind him, the report says.

Storm was inside the car and saw the person approach and pushed open the car’s center console sliding door. He jumped out of the driver’s - side window. The man who was walking from behind Gulu quickly moved toward the juveniles, and the dog bit one of the three juveniles, Anita Pagan, on her right arm.

The lawsuit states that the victim “was acting lawfully” at the time.

Gulu quickly recalled the dog and put him back inside the car, locking the center sliding door, the report says.

According to the suit, the victim suffered bruises, contusions, and ligament, and nerve damage from the bite.

Storm was involved in two other incidents where he has attacked an unintended victim.

On April 17, Angela Moore, 31, of Fairfax Avenue in Youngstown, was bitten while sitting on the ground after police arrived to investigate a car accident.

According to a Campbell police report, Officer Eric Manning, Storm’s handler, and Officer Ryan Bloomer were out of their police cars, and Manning loudly asked the people involved if anyone was injured.

That’s when Storm ran toward Moore from behind Manning.

Storm had left the police cruiser through the open driver’s window and had apparently pushed aside a canine access door, the police report said.

Officer Bloomer saw Storm and yelled “dog,” but Storm bit Moore before Manning realized what was happening.

Manning pried Storm’s mouth open, removed him from the area and placed him back in the cruiser with the windows up and the doors locked.

Moore had puncture marks, and officers called for an ambulance for Moore, but she refused treatment. Back at the police station, officers determined that Storm had forced open the sliding canine access door to the cruiser.

In a November 2011 episode, Storm took down an 8-year-old boy playing in his grandmother’s yard.

Storm and Gulu were off-duty, and Gulu had let him loose in a fenced enclosure in his neighborhood. Before he could re-leash the dog, Storm got over the fence and went after the boy. The boy was dragged to the ground but not bitten, police said.

The boy’s parents filed a lawsuit in that matter last October.

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