Three Braintree Police Dogs Out of Service Following 'Vicious Attack' on Officer

Three of the police department's canines have been involved in attacks recently, against officers and a handler's son.

One of the 's K9's attacked an officer in April, sending her to the hospital for surgery. Kristine Lydon, who was bitten during a call to a local apartment complex, faces a "long, arduous and challenging" recovery, according to Police Chief Paul Frazier.

It was the third recent incident of aggressive behavior among Braintree's police canines, and so Frazier announced in a press release on Wednesday that he had ended the deployment of three of the department's patrol dogs as of Monday, but left K9 Lucky to continue serving as a drug detector.

"There is a certain risk when deploying K9's, not only to our officers but to our citizens as well," Frazier said. "The inherent danger associated with their deployment far outweighs the benefit and as such I have made the decision to end their deployment."

On April 28, the day of the attack on Lydon, she reported to Skyline Drive, where two youths had been reported missing, Frazier said. Sergeant Michael Want located the youths and police were about to clear the call when K9 Kitt "escaped" from the rear of a cruiser, ran past his handler Officer William Cushing Jr. and attacked Lydon.

She was brought to Boston Medical Center and faces additional surgery in the future for her leg injury. "Kristine is a strong individual and will get through this," Frazier said.

In a separate incident, K9 Dargo attacked his handler and was euthanized when the department found he had a genetic impairment. Another dog, Yento, attacked his handler's son. No further information on those attacks were provided in the release. Frazier was unavailable for further comment on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's bad enough that one of our finest officers has become a victim to a K9 attack, but if this was a member of the general public, the Town could be sued," Frazier said. "I trust in the future that a very thorough independent review of the K9 program will be conducted before any decision is made to reinstate the program."

Common sense June 08, 2012 at 06:33 PM
In response to WTF stating the dog did what it was trained to do! The dog got out of the car, ran past the handler and attacked a person on the other side of the street ( officer or not is regardless) Not a Track, not on a K9 call, no one being threatened !! Is this what the dog is trained to do ?? That is the problem here !!
LocalGuy June 09, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Has anyone considered the training these dogs receive? Where and how they were trained? It sounds to me like the handlers did not, or do not, have control over their animals. Was the handler not able to recall the dog before the dog decided to bite another officer? Did the dog choose to ignore the recall? How did the dog "break out" of the cruiser?
Oscar June 09, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Good Questions! Let's have some answers. Did the handler even call the dog?? Let's start there!
Shebbie June 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Didn't know this was a debate, thought everyone had a right to write their opinions. How long were these officers even trained to work with dogs? How long had they worked with the dogs? How did the dog escape from the cruiser? Were the doors not closed? Are the trainers unqualified handlers? One dog having a problem ? Certainly could be, but for 3 dogs? Sounds more like it is the lack of ability of the officers to be able to control the animals. I don't think anyone is disputing the fact that an officer is seriously injured but are contemplating as to why. A well trained dog is only as well trained as its owner/handler
Oscar June 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Shebble, Great questions! Let's hope to hear some answers and accountabilty


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