St. Paul to pay $520,000 to woman attacked by police dog – Judge found officer had been reckless and ‘more than negligent’

Stock photo: Angry police dog bares it's teeth and is restrained by a officer. (By Four Oaks/

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) 09/29 — The city of St. Paul has agreed to pay $520,000 to a woman who was attacked by a police dog last year as she was taking out her trash, one of her attorneys said.

The decision to pay Desiree Collins for the Sept. 23, 2017, attack comes a month after a federal judge found that Collins’ constitutional rights were violated and that Officer Thaddeus Schmidt, the dog’s handler, had been reckless and “more than negligent.” U.S. District Judge John Tunheim ruled that Collins deserved a jury award.

Andy Noel, one of Collins’ attorneys, said both sides agreed to the settlement on Thursday, a day after the City Council met behind closed doors to discuss the lawsuit.

“She’s pleased and she’s glad that she can put this lawsuit behind her and move on with life,” Noel said of the settlement.

According to the lawsuit, Schmidt had K-9 Gabe on a 20-foot leash as he was searching for two burglary suspects. The dog latched on to Collins’ left leg and then her right arm as she was taking out her garbage, biting her multiple times and knocking her to the ground.

St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson said in a statement that the city favored an outcome that didn’t require Collins to endure the additional stress of a trial and ensures she would receive an appropriate portion of settlement funds, after attorneys’ fees.

Noel and attorney Robert Bennett also represented Frank Baker, who received a record $2 million settlement from St. Paul after he was mistaken for a suspect and bitten by a K-9 in 2016. He was hospitalized for two weeks. The same attorneys also represent Glenn Slaughter, who was accidentally bitten by a St. Paul police dog in July when the dog got loose from his collar.

The attacks prompted a major overhaul of how St. Paul police officers use dogs to assist in arrests. Changes made in July restrict the use of K-9s for apprehension, and also require twice monthly testing of handlers’ control of their dogs. K-9 teams that don’t meet training standards will be taken off patrol.$520,000-to-woman-attacked-by-police-dog

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Civilian Complaints, Court Rulings, Injuries, Judges, K-9, Lawsuits, Negligence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 − 1 =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.