A Hialeah police dog named Diesel viciously attacked the genitals of a teen trying to surrender after a foot chase, according to a newly filed federal lawsuit.
Javarius Ragin and his mother filed the suit against Hialeah police, saying the teen was the victim of excessive force and was not afforded proper medical care immediately after the December 2013 attack.
The lawsuit says that Ragin’s penis was “literally ripped open” and the teen suffered massive bleeding. Emergency-room doctors later had to stitch him up, causing extensive scarring, according to his lawyer.
“He may also be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” defense attorney Rod Vereen said. “This is yet another example of law enforcement using excessive force when none was needed.”
Hialeah police referred calls to the city’s legal department; the city attorney could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Back on Christmas Day 2013, Hialeah police pulled over a car that had been reported stolen. Four young men inside bailed out and began running. Ragin, then 14 years old, says he was only a passenger.
According to the suit, Hialeah Lt. Margaret Daniels saw Ragin hide in an unlocked shed. Officer Earles Gonzalez opened the door and ordered Diesel to attack even though “Ragin was a juvenile and standing with his hands up in the air,” the federal lawsuit alleges.
“Ragin was screaming and hollering and trying to fight off the attack,” according to the suit.
Hialeah officers would not call for paramedics, although Ragin was eventually admitted to Palmetto General Hospital. According to the lawsuit, the officers failed to document the use of force against Ragin, spurring a complaint by Ragin to Hialeah’s internal affairs bureau.
Ragin was charged with grand-theft auto, resisting with violence and unoccupied burglary. According to his lawyer, the charges were dropped after he completed a program for first-time juvenile offenders.
The lawsuit, filed last week, names Gonzalez, Daniels and Hialeah, which “tolerated and acquiesced to the excessive use of force,
Hialeah’s K9 unit already was in the news last month after two department dogs – a bloodhound named Jimmy and a Belgian Malinois Hector – were found dead inside their handler’s unmarked sports utility vehicle. The Davie Police Department is now investigating the conduct of Hialeah K9 Officer Nelson Enriquez.