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Officer Gets $37k Settlement For Being Bitten In Testicle By K9

Wichita Police Officer Nathan Toman was bitten by a Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office K9 during a burglary call in 2017.

Wichita, KS – A Wichita police officer who was bitten in the testicle by a Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) K9 will receive a $37,500 settlement from the county.

Wichita Police Officer Nathan Toman was bitten by the sheriff’s office K9 in November of 2017, after he responded to a report of a burglary at a vacant residence on South Main Street, The Wichita Eagle reported.

After searching the main level of the home, police moved into the basement and spotted a crawl space.

They hollered into the space, but no one responded.

Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Sarah Sinnett then looked inside the hole and spotted the suspect hiding inside, The Wichita Eagle reported.

As she ordered to suspect to come out, Officer Toman repositioned and stepped in front of Deputy Sinnett’s K9.

The K9 “broke off from its off-position, and bit Officer Toman,” SCSO Public Information Officer Kate Flavin told the paper. “Deputies immediately called off the K-9, which responded to commands, but the whole sequence took place in a matter of seconds.”

According to police records, the K9 bit Officer Toman in the “right testicle, right inner thigh, and right wrist,” The Wichita Eagle reported.

The officer’s wrist was also fractured during the incident.

Officer Toman’s attorney originally sent the county a letter requesting damages in the amount of $221,000.

The Sedgwick County Commission has now agreed to pay a $37,500 settlement, FOX News reported.

Officer Toman had not filed a lawsuit against the county, The Wichita Eagle reported.

Interestingly, Deputy Sinnett was bitten by a Wichita Police Department (WPD) K9 in the line of duty during an incident in December of 2014.

Law enforcement officers were attempting to remove a man armed with a machete from a vehicle when the WPD K9 spotted its handler struggling with the suspect.

The K9 “self-deployed” out an open patrol car door, but ended up biting Deputy Sinnett’s left thigh instead of the suspect, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The deputy filed a lawsuit against the WPD, alleging that the department failed to properly train its K9 officers. She also accused the K9’s handler of acting negligently.

Deputy Sinnett prevailed in her lawsuit, and was awarded $67,000.

Holly Matkin - January Wed, 2020


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