DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The attorney for a woman who was reportedly attacked over the weekend by a K-9 officer with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office is calling the incident "inexcusable."
According to a statement released Thursday by attorney Rose Mary Parham, the 53-year-old woman remains hospitalized following the Dec. 9 incident and "continues to suffer from permanent, disfiguring injuries."
Parham goes on to say her client was an innocent bystander who walked out of her home to see why police where in the neighborhood when she was "viciously attacked" by the K-9 officer Sky.
According to a previous press release from the DCSO, deputies were in the area of Kingston Drive in the McBee area on Saturday evening investigating a burglary. The K-9 was deployed to search for the suspect when the animal bit the woman.
"Assuming that the incident report is an accurate version of events, which we do not concede, the report paints a horrifying picture of a K-9 that went rogue and failed to obey his master's commands," Parham's statement read. "We received confirmation yesterday from the sheriff's office that Sky had previously bitten at least two other individuals. There is no excuse for having a savage, out of control K-9 alive, much less a member of a sheriff's office."
The Darlington County Sheriff's Office did not comment when WMBF reached out to the agency about the statement, but did send out an updated press release late Thursday afternoon.
According to the release, the dog is not on active duty pending an evaluation by an independent outside agency.
The release stated an incident of this nature has not occurred with this K-9 to the knowledge of the current administration.
A DCSO incident report first provided by the victim's attorney stated the dog was able to open the dividing door in the deputy's patrol vehicle and get out of the driver's side door.
According to the report, the dog initially ignored commands to come back but eventually ran back to the car.
That was when the dog saw two people and ran toward them. The people ran away, despite the deputy trying to tell them not to, the incident report stated.
The dog reportedly bit the victim and took her to the ground, eventually stopping when the deputy could get to where they were.
According to the report, the dog attacked because the victim didn't stop running away. The woman suffered puncture wounds, a dislocated shoulder and a broken arm.
Pictures of the woman's injuries, provided by Parham, can be viewed by clicking the links below. WARNING: THE PHOTOS ARE QUITE GRAPHIC.