Regina man attacked by police dog calls for more compensation

Regina man attacked by police dog calls for more compensation

A Regina man bitten by a police dog last July as he was sitting on his front porch says he's still suffering from the attack, and he wants more compensation.

Marty Marin was drinking a beer outside his home on July 4, 2017 when a police dog bit his leg and dragged him down his driveway.

The Regina Police Service dog was taking part in a training exercise in the neighbourhood.

Marin said he was given $853 in compensation from the police, but he doesn't think that's enough.

He estimates he's out thousands of dollars because of lost wages, inability to do the work that he used to and compensation he paid to those who took care of him.

According to Marin, the police service told him to get a lawyer and they'd go into arbitration if he wasn't satisfied. 

"Now they've got me so broke I can't afford to get a lawyer," he said. "I lost a lot of frickin' money out of this and they just seem to [say] 'well, we'll wash it under the table.'"

The service has requested more information from Marin, according to a Regina police spokesperson.  

"As far as the Regina Police Service is concerned, the question of compensation in this case has not been concluded," the spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson said police did "suggest he obtain legal counsel" to ensure he pursued the legal options available to him. 

"We did not tell Mr. Marin he had to get a lawyer, and that he would have to take us to court." 

Citing privacy concerns, Regina police will not release specific details of any dealings between Marin and the service, because they say the matter is not public. 

Marin has been disappointed in the police communication since the incident. 

"If I was to punch a police officer — that would be police brutality, right? Like, what do they call this? You know, I was sitting on my doorstep having a beer, and the next thing you know I'm in emergency."

Last summer, police said a use-of-force review would be conducted to determine what led to the bite. The police spokesperson said the review is complete, but the information isn't public "because of the details of tactics and policies." 

In incidents involving the use of force by police, a review board determines whether or not police policy was followed and would specify solutions to address any gaps.

New training safety precautions

Marin, who says he grew up with dogs, was traumatized by the incident. 

"I'm terrified. A Shih Tzu could put me up a tree right now," he said, adding he has since moved to Alberta to be closer to family. It was too hard for him to be in his house, he said.

Marin previously suggested police warn people when canine training operations are scheduled to happen in residential neighbourhoods, to prevent similar incidents.

The Regina Police Service spokesperson said the "standard operating procedure" has been improved since the incident. 

Although there were previous existing documents, there had never been a chapter specific to training safety precautions. 

"We have improved the requirements in the areas of notifications to residents, signage to indicate training and procedures to 'announce' our presence in training exercises, especially when moving through confined areas or tight quarters," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said the service is sorry Marin was bitten by one of its dogs. 

Five innocent bystanders have been bitten by Regina police dogs in the past 25 years, according to the spokesperson.