A pensioner is “very poorly” in hospital today after she was attacked by a police dog searching her garden for a suspect.
The 73-year-old woman was bitten by the German Shepherd a number of times at 9.30pm last night. She had given Cleveland Police officers permission to look for a driver who had got away on foot, after being stopped on suspicion of a “crime and drugs” offence.
Detectives gave the woman first aid at the scene in Penrith Road, Middlesbrough, before she was taken by ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital.
Sean White, assistant chief constable of Cleveland Police, said he was “deeply sorry” for what happened.
He added: “It is unprecedented for such an incident to happen.
“We are taking the matter very seriously.”
“Our main concern at present is for the welfare of the lady and her family. We deeply regret what has happened and we wish her a full recovery from her injuries.”
He said the dog had been removed from operational duties while an investigation takes place, and the attack has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The German Shepherd’s competence to remain as a working police dog will be reviewed.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.