A Fresno police dog that was taken out of service after he bit a bystander as officers pursued a suspect Tuesday has been cleared by an outside agency. However, it is up to city officials when, or if, the dog returns to duty.
The dog, named Kubo, is one of the department’s most experienced K-9s. Sgt. Bill Dooley of the police department’s K-9 unit said Kubo was checked out by dog handlers from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office after he bit a 38-year-old man at Sierra Vista and Belmont avenues. He passed the certification.
The city is paying for the man’s injuries and trying to determine how Kubo got off leash.
Cases in which a police dog bites the wrong person are unusual. In 2009, a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy sustained severe injuries, including nerve damage, when he was bitten by a Huron police dog.
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It happened as the deputy guarded the back door of a building in western Fresno County. A Huron officer released a police dog, named Eric, at the front of the building to check for a burglar. The dog went through the building, out the back door and attacked the deputy.
Kubo joined the department’s K-9 force in 2007. Two years later, he was credited with the capture of 11 people after an attempted break-in at Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in north Fresno. Earlier this year, a Fresno architect sued the city, claiming Kubo mauled his arm as police tried to serve a protective order against him.