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Woman Attacked By Police Dog as She Took Out Her Trash Set to Receive $520,000 Settlement

St. Paul, Minn., has agreed to settle pay an innocent woman who was attacked in 2017 by a police dog.

Desiree Collins was an innocent bystander taking out her trash when she was bitten by a St. Paul police dog on Sept. 23, 2017. The then-52-year-old woman was knocked to the ground, dragged by her shirt and bitten multiple times on her arm and leg, the Star Tribune reported. She only has one hand, which is the arm the dog attacked.

Collins’ attorneys Bob Bennett and Andy Noel said their client was so traumatized by the incident that she continues to see a therapist just to cope. The woman sued the city of St. Paul and Officer Thaddeus Schmidt, who was the K-9’s handler at the time.

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim found in August that police officials violated Collins’ civil rights and Officer Schmidt was “more than negligent” when it came to handling the police dog. Tunheim’s ruling in Collins’ favor left only the step for a jury to decide a monetary award. The City Council met Wednesday to discuss the lawsuit and reached a settlement of $520,000 with Collins and her attorneys.

Noel told the news outlet, “She’s pleased and she’s glad that she can put this lawsuit behind her and move on with life.”

Collins said the incident made her fearful of dogs and caused her to move from her home.

“I didn’t deserve that,” said the victim. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Schmidt and other police officials were searching for two burglars in the area when K-9 Gabe locked on to Collins’ left leg according to the lawsuit. The victim was injured and had to be hospitalized.

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