Lawyers for Jeffery Ryans, 36, say a police officer “ordered his K9 … to attack Ryans unnecessarily and for an extended period of time” back in April. Salt Lake City Police say they are investigating the incident domestically.
On April 24, Ryans was preparing for work around 3:30 a.m. when police showed up saying they were investigating an incident of domestic violence, according to Ryans lawyers.
Ryans’s daughter made the 911 call to police, according to a call record issued by police.
“My father is doing very bad things for our family,” the girl says.
“He’s crying and crying,” she says, as loud voices are heard in the background.
“Did it hit your mother?”; asks the operator.
The girl replies, “Yes.”
Asked by the operator if her father lives in the house, the girl replies: “No, he has a restraining order.”
One of Ryans’s attorneys, Daniel Gardner, confirmed to CNN that there was a protection order but said the couple “were under the impression it was set up because that was Mrs Ryans’s wishes”.
At one point in the video, after an officer mentions Ryans protection order, he tells her the officer that his wife “said he picked up”.
“[Ryans and his wife] did not realize that a judge is the only one who can revoke a defense order, “Gardner explained.
Police asked Ryans to leave the home, according to footage of body-worn cameras from the incident given to CNN by the man’s lawyers and Salt Lake City Police. They also spoke to his wife, who confirmed that she has a protection order and told officers that Jeffrey was at home when he entered the house.
When officers found him in the backyard, one of the six officers told him “you are not supposed to be here Jeffrey”.
“Well, well she let me,” he claims. Some officers can be heard ordering Ryans to “climb to the ground.” An officer says Ryans tried to throw the fence.
Ryans was approached by Salt Lake City police officer Nickolas Pearce who “ordered his German Shepherd to constantly bite Mr. Ryans while he was on his knees with his hands in the air,” his lawyers say.
The body camera video from the incident shows Ryans lying on the ground protesting and screaming in pain as a dog bites and rests its legs on his left leg. An officer is seen handcuffing him while another officer repeatedly says “good boy” to the dog.
“Why are you biting me?” Ryans screams in the video at one point.
While Ryans is on the ground being handcuffed, an officer can be heard saying “we need medicine for a dog bite” through the radio.
Ryans, a locomotive engineer, says several times throughout the incident that he was trying to get his work clothes out of the house.
The legs may need to be amputated, doctors say
The Salt Lake City Police Department said no complaints were filed with their Home Office department immediately after the incident.
“However, when senior leadership became aware of the situation [Tuesday]”They immediately launched an Internal Affairs investigation to determine whether the use of force was within politics and why the use of force was not referred to in the Home Affairs at the time,” the department added in their statement about the event.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (D) said she was “deeply concerned that she received a newspaper that published this video to bring it to the attention of the top police department leadership and herself,” in a Tweet yesterday.
“I’m concerned about what I saw in that video, irritated by the way the situation was handled, and I’m committed to working to make sure it does not happen again,” Mendenhall added.
Pearce has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, police said in their statement.
CNN turned to the Salt Lake City police union for comment, but did not immediately respond.
Ryans should have been taken to the emergency room after the incident and since that night there have been several surgeries for his wounds, his lawyers say.
“His doctors have informed him that his leg may need to be amputated as a result of his injuries,” their statement added.
The request that notified Ryans’s lawyers sent to the city says he has nerve, tendon and muscle damage.
No formal lawsuit has been filed in court yet.