Man in K-9 Attack Settles Lawsuit with West Jordan Police Department

Man in K-9 Attack Settles Lawsuit with West Jordan Police
Photo: Jen Gardiner, Gephardt Daily 2015

WEST JORDAN, UTAH – August 12, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – A man who filed a federal civil lawsuit against West Jordan Police Department for violating his rights and use of excessive force has reached a settlement with the department and the city of West Jordan.

According to West Jordan Police Sgt. Dan Roberts, Martin Lee Hoogveldt had been involved in a series of violent incidents days prior to the incident leading up to the dog bite. On the day in question, officers were called to his home at 7079 S. 1115 West by Hoogveldt’s neighbors because he had lit their neighbor’s trash can on fire twice and made threats with a knife.

According to court documents, Hoogveldt said he had his hands in the air and had surrendered to police when they let their K-9 “Pyro” lose on him.

A body camera that West Jordan police officer Ian Adams, Pyro’s handler, was wearing, recorded the entire incident on March 24, 2013.

The body camera video shows Hoogveldt sitting on a couch when officers ask him to slowly stand up. Hoogveldt didn’t stand up but instead raised his hands in the air and that is when Pyro bit him in the face.

It took officers nearly half a minute to pry the dog off Hoogveldt and as officers tried to handcuff him while he was on the ground he was tasered multiple times. Pyro then bit Hoogveldt’s behind again after police were on top of him.

In a statement released by Sgt. Dan Roberts, the city of West Jordan and Mr. Hoogveldt have signed a “Settlement Agreement and Release of All Claims.”

The city said it is not an admission of liability or any wrongdoing but that the cities attorneys have determined it is more cost effective to put this behind us rather than draw it out in court.


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