A New Mexico family is suing after they say a police officer who was supposed to perform a welfare check, instead allowed his dog to attack a man for no reason. The lawsuit, filed two weeks ago, names two officers, the chief, and the Clovis Police Department as the defendants.
According to the lawsuit, in February, a woman called police saying her son was “suicidal.” Three officers responded, including K-9 Officer Brent Aguilar and Sgt. Travis Loomis.
The lawsuit states that when officers went to speak to him, the man told them he was okay but refused to let them in the apartment.
The family’s attorney said officers had their lapel cameras on, and that you can hear them planning to release the K-9 on the man even though they reassured him that he wasn’t in any trouble and that they didn’t want to hurt him.
Soon after making contact with Dan, Defendant Aguilar told Defendant Loomis, “If he opens that door and he steps; he goes to step back in, I’m going to let Leo go. Travis, you clear on that?”
The attorney said, “the defendants decided minutes into their interaction with Dan that they would release the dog on him if he walked away.”
According to the lawsuit, the K-9 bit through the man’s pants, and he was hospitalized for nine days.
Attorneys for the family said his injuries were so severe, the hospital in Clovis could not treat him and he was transported to the University of Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas.
This isn’t the first time Officer Aguilar has been accused of excessive force. The lawsuit points to a 2014 traffic stop.
“Defendant Aguilar arrested Mr. Corona for failing to show him his ID,” the lawsuit reads. “Dashcam footage of the incident shows Defendant Aguilar threw him ‘facedown into the asphalt’ while his hands were handcuffed behind his back.”
The lawsuit also states that about a month after this call Officer Aguilar released his K-9 again, this time on a 17-year-old who had already surrendered to the officer. The lawsuit states the teen sustained serious injuries from the dog bite.