Details of attack that led officer to shoot police K-9 released

(Photo by John Carroll)
(Photo by John Carroll)(KWTX)
Published: Oct. 5, 2018 at 12:52 PM CDT
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Authorities provided more details Monday about the death of a Waco police K-9 named Kastor that was killed when it turned on its handler Friday as authorities prepared to breach the front door of a home at 2008 Seneca Ave. to look for a man wanted on a robbery charge.

“K-9 Handler Michael Bucher was being bitten in his inner thigh by Kastor,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said in a press release Monday.

“The handler was continually giving commands for the dog to stop as Waco Detective Eric Trojanowski was attempting to physically pull Kastor away from the attack,” he said.

The 2-year-old Belgian Malinois’ jaws were clamped on the handler’s inside thigh, close to the femoral artery.

Despite “repeated and multiple attempts to stop Kastor by physical, verbal, and other methods, Kastor would not stop the attack,” Swanton said.

“Officer Bucher instructed Detective Trojanowski to put Kastor down to stop the attack. The detective fired one shot, striking Kastor, stopping the attack. Kastor died at the scene,” Swanton said.

The injured handler was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center where he was treated and later released.

“At this early juncture, it appears that the involved officers acted appropriately during the incident,” Swanton said.

“Our intent is to conduct a complete and thorough review of the entire incident and our K-9 program. The review is ongoing. This was a tragedy for all involved and we want to ensure everything possible is done to keep this from ever occurring again,” he said.

Officers entered the home after the dog attack, but the man for whom they were searching wasn’t inside.

WACO, Texas (KWTX)--Chance Brasiel, who has been training police dogs for decades, says K-9s have turned on their handlers before.

"It does happen. It's not common, I don't know the numbers across the country but it's just basically where the dog is so highly motivated and he's having to practice patience and he just wants to do his job,” Brasiel told KWTX Monday from his home in Louisiana.

"I've heard people say that this dog turned on his handler. I think that terminology is used incorrectly. I think it's more of a re-directed aggression towards the handler saying ‘hey let me go to my job that I'm trained to do.’”

Brasiel says he's sure both officers are hurting as they relive the incident. "I can't imagine what he's going through and with the other officers is going through and the community and the police department and itself."

"To that handler and that officer and the police department, our thoughts and prayers are out to them." (John Carroll)