Robert Ray says a police dog attacked him for a full minute, leaving him with injuries that put him in the hospital for a week. However, he and the police department have different views on what led up to the encounter. Vikki Vargas reports from Anaheim for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2013.
Robert Ray said a police dog attacked him for a full minute, leaving him with injuries that put him in the hospital for a week. However, he and the Anaheim Police Department have different views on what led to the encounter.
"I never saw the dog coming. I never saw the dog until I was down on my knees," recalled Robert Ray, an Orange County handyman.
Ray said an Anaheim Police Department dog attacked him for a full minute. He spent seven days in the hospital and received dozens of stitches.
"The officer was holding on to the dog," Ray said. "It was chewing my arm, and it was like it wouldn't stop."
The encounter happened two days before Christmas, when Ray said he took a detour through an alley behind the North Anaheim Business Center. He was headed to meet a friend but drove right into a burglary in progress.
Police said a business owner was using a remote surveillance camera to report a possible break in, and that a white truck could be seen driving by.
Ray thought police were telling him to get out of his truck, but police claim the 50-year-old man was immediately warned about the dog.
"As the officer is giving this individual commands to stop, legal commands, he walks away from the officer," said Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department.
But Ray said he never made an attempt to run, or even walk, away.
"I was not evasive. The only time I may have paused was when I went down on my knees," Ray said.
Dunn said Ray fought back against the dog, punching the dog several times.
"I was trying to get away from the dog, pushing with my feet," Ray said.
The best evidence may be the surveillance camera.
"I would give anything to see that tape," Ray said. "I am 100 percent certain it would vindicate me immediately."
Police said the surveillance tape will not be made public until the investigation is complete.