Family: Police dog bit 13-year-old girl

Last modified: 7/12/2010 12:00:00 AM
A New Hampshire State Police dog brought to Warren Street in Concord to search for drugs bit a 13-year-old girl and her dog as they were walking down the street Thursday morning, sending the girl to the hospital, her family said.

Frances Burke-Bevis said the police dog, a German shepherd, bit her left hand after she tried to stop it from attacking her dog, a black Lab mix.

'Me and my friends were walking down the street with my dog, and we saw some police cars, and we decided to walk past,' Frances, who lives on Warren Street, said yesterday. 'And we saw the German shepherd. The German shepherd took one look at my dog and ran across the street and attacked mine.

'I had to push my dog behind me, and push the other dog away,' she continued. 'And that dog got my hand.'

At that point, a woman who had been yelling at the German shepherd to heel got hold of its collar, Frances said.

A neighbor put pressure on Frances's finger, and one of the girl's friends ran back home to tell Frances's mother what had happened, said her father, Mark Bevis.

Bevis, who is the news director at New Hampshire Public Radio, said no one took a report from his family Thursday.

He called the Concord police, who he said came to his house Saturday to get a statement from his daughter. He said a state police lieutenant has also called and said the division 'takes full responsibility' for what happened.

'He's been very understanding,' Bevis said of the state police lieutenant. But Bevis said he wants to know why the German shepherd wasn't on a leash.

A state police supervisor said yesterday he could provide no information about the incident and would not give his name to a reporter.

Concord police Sgt. Jim Berry said yesterday his department had asked the state police to bring a drug-sniffing dog to Warren Street on Thursday morning after a car crashed into a telephone pole and the police suspected drugs were involved.

The crash, which happened about 9:45 a.m. Thursday on Warren Street near Holt Street, was reported to the police as a motor vehicle collision, but 'somebody at the scene said they were hiding drugs before the police arrived,' Berry said.

The police found syringes in the car that will be tested, Berry said. The driver of the car, 26-year-old Jessica Caseley of Mansfield, Mass., was arrested on charges that included driving while intoxicated, disobeying a police officer and breach of bail.

The passenger, Jessica Malin of Concord, was not arrested, Berry said.

Berry said yesterday he couldn't confirm that police officers had taken a statement from Frances Burke-Bevis.

The police report about the car crash has no information about the incident with the police dog, said Berry, who wasn't one of the Concord officers who responded to the Warren Street crash.

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