A Toronto-area police officer pleaded guilty to assault after siccing his K-9 unit dog on a man who was lying down awaiting arrest.
York Region police Const. Michael Partridge admitted to his role in the assault that occurred on March 30, 2016 and left a man with minor injuries. Partridge was originally charged with assault and assault with a weapon — the weapon being the dog, but he pleaded guilty to one count of assault on Wednesday, the day his trial was scheduled to begin.
The Crown attorney in the case called the officer’s actions an “excessive use of force.”
York police had been investigating break-and-enters in the region and had identified three men who had allegedly committed the crimes, according to an agreed statement of facts read in court. Various officers began surveilling the men that day and watched them allegedly break into one home in Brampton, Ont.
The officers followed the men to a condominium near the Gladstone Hotel where they were met by several Toronto police officers. Around 3:30 p.m., one of the suspects was arrested after he walked out of the condominium and a subsequent search revealed a baggy with loose ammunition.
Partridge was on scene with his police dog, Lex, to support the arrests, the court heard. Officers then received information that another suspect had entered the condominium with another man, both of whom bolted when officers tried to arrest them.
Three officers quickly caught one of the suspects, but the other had gotten away. Several officers then began searching for him when bystanders on a rooftop pointed in the direction of a running man.
The suspect — Median Jackson — sprinted into an alley, and lay down, winded, near a set of stairs, which was captured on surveillance video from the Gladstone Hotel. That video was filed in court as an exhibit.
“Jackson was compliant, lying face down underneath the stairs,” Crown attorney Peter Scrutton told the court.
At this point, however, Partridge sicced his K9 and then began kicking Jackson while he was down. His kicks only seemed to further enrage the dog.
“While these strikes did not cause any injury, they appeared to have served to incite the dog, which continued to grip and bite Mr. Jackson’s arm,” Scrutton told the court.
After he was beaten and mauled, Jackson was arrested and charged with breaking and entering. However, because of the officer’s actions as seen on the surveillance footage, all the charges against Jackson were dropped.
Raw and Uncut video,