Neighbours tell of shock as elderly woman is savaged by police dog

A police dog - not the one in the incident.

A police dog - not the one in the incident.

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

HORRIFIED neighbours today told how an elderly woman was left with serious injuries after being savaged by a police dog which was searching for a suspected criminal.

The 73-year-old woman, who is believed to be suffering from cancer, had allowed police to release their search dog into her Middlesbrough garden.

But neighbours said the black German shepherd ran into her home and police confirmed she was left with “bites about her body.”

Several people said they saw blood on the woman’s face as paramedics, who first treated her at the scene, took her to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Cleveland Police had stopped a car nearby as part of a drugs operation but the driver escaped on foot sometime after 8pm last night.

Police gave chase and a number of homes and properties had been searched around the Park End area of Middlesbrough when they asked the elderly woman if they could search her garden on Penrith Road at about 9.30pm.

Several witnesses said the dog ran into the woman’s home. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) has been informed and will investigate. The dog has been taken off duties and its fate is yet to be determined.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said the police and dog handler had previously searched her house nearby with her young children inside.

She said: “The dog had seemed fine and it actually helped me and my children to feel safer. There was a big operation and we were out to see what was going on.

"The bobby who had the dog had his head in his hands afterwards and he seemed to be crying. I felt a bit sorry for him.”

Jack Williams, 20, who lives directly next door to the woman in the semi-detached homes, said: “She’s been in and out of hospital and is really quite housebound now. Her son is always down looking after her. She’s private and very quiet and just a really nice person."

A middle-aged woman who lives directly opposite the victim said: “She’s been very ill but she sees a lot of her son and granddaughter. Her granddaughter was down today and said she’s as well as can be expected.

"She used to do a lot of work in charity shops and I just hope she’s okay."

Assistant Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Sean White said: “Our main concern at present is for the welfare of the lady and her family, we deeply regret what has happened and we wish her a full recovery from her injuries.”

The man who police were chasing has not been caught. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101.

Comments (8)

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1:05pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Butafly says...

oh dear. Dog has been removed from duty for time being? had it been someones pet dog and not a police dog,the dog would have been put down, obviously no-one knows the full story.
Hope the lady has a full recovery both mentally and physically
oh dear. Dog has been removed from duty for time being? had it been someones pet dog and not a police dog,the dog would have been put down, obviously no-one knows the full story. Hope the lady has a full recovery both mentally and physically Butafly
  • Score: 12

9:52pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Butafly says...

this story has been updated since my previous comment. Im sorry but the fate of the police dog should be obvious,i really hope this poor lady is ok
this story has been updated since my previous comment. Im sorry but the fate of the police dog should be obvious,i really hope this poor lady is ok Butafly
  • Score: 4

11:36pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Triglet says...

Shouldnt the dog handler be accountable , If things go tits up on a Building we are .
Shouldnt the dog handler be accountable , If things go tits up on a Building we are . Triglet
  • Score: -6

11:54pm Thu 17 Jul 14

greenfinger says...

Go and get a top lawyer, go to London and get the best. This cannot be right and should be very easy to prove. Do not settle for peanuts
Go and get a top lawyer, go to London and get the best. This cannot be right and should be very easy to prove. Do not settle for peanuts greenfinger
  • Score: -7

11:54pm Thu 17 Jul 14

greenfinger says...

Best you can afford I meant lol.
Best you can afford I meant lol. greenfinger
  • Score: -10

12:03am Fri 18 Jul 14

hippyjohn says...

any trained dog is only doing what it is trained to do by its controller
any trained dog is only doing what it is trained to do by its controller hippyjohn
  • Score: -12

12:02pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Voice-of-reality says...

1. It is a police dog - they won't put it down.
2. The handler - will almost certainly be promoted.
3. If the victim causes trouble for the police she, or her family, will be harassed by them.
4. If it had been the other way round, and it had been the police attacked by the lady's dog - all hell would have broken out.
1. It is a police dog - they won't put it down. 2. The handler - will almost certainly be promoted. 3. If the victim causes trouble for the police she, or her family, will be harassed by them. 4. If it had been the other way round, and it had been the police attacked by the lady's dog - all hell would have broken out. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Equity1 says...

Disgraceful! it's one thing biting a scum bag who has just burgled your house but this is reckless beyond belief.Police are unaccountable and this should never have happened .Poor old lady -I hope and wish you a speedy recovery . The longer I live the more disillusioned I am with the police service - WHAT SERVICE !
Disgraceful! it's one thing biting a scum bag who has just burgled your house but this is reckless beyond belief.Police are unaccountable and this should never have happened .Poor old lady -I hope and wish you a speedy recovery . The longer I live the more disillusioned I am with the police service - WHAT SERVICE ! Equity1
  • Score: 0

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