Man claims Pittsburgh K-9 attacked him, witness says it was his fault
Pittsburgh would pay a North Side man $5,400 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging a city police dog attacked and injured him after he reported a 2016 break-in at an auto shop.
The shop owner, however, said the man — not the dog — was at fault for being bitten.
Timothy Arnold, of Fineview, alleged in the lawsuit that he reported a break-in at Nothin But Juice Customs’ vehicle impound lot in East Allegheny around 3 a.m. on May 23, 2016.
When Officer Robert Stroschein arrived, he instructed Arnold to stand a block away while his K-9 named Ben searched the lot, according to the lawsuit. Arnold claims he was still standing about a block away when the dog left the lot, approached him and bit him on both arms despite Stroschein’s commands to stop.
Richard Bowers, 45, the shop owner, said he and at least one other employee were standing with Arnold, who worked for him as a tow truck driver but has since taken another job.
He said Stroschein instructed the group to stand still when the dog approached, but Arnold lowered his arm and the dog bit him.
“The dog didn’t bother us,” Bowers said. “He sniffed all of us as soon as he got to us, and Timmy leans his arm down. The dog went up his arm like corn on the cob. That was his own dumb fault.”
Neither Arnold nor his attorneys, Michael Metro and James Villanova, returned messages seeking comment.
Police didn’t find anyone in the lot during the search, Bowers said.
Arnold suffered puncture wounds to both arms and required stitches along with severe sprains, shock and injuries to his spine, according to the suit. The lawsuit contends the injuries were the result of Stroschein’s negligence.
Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, declined to comment. Pittsburgh City Council in a preliminary vote Wednesday unanimously approved payment of the settlement. A final vote is expected on Tuesday.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .