City agrees to pay $390,000 in APD dog mauling case - Albuquerque Journal

City agrees to pay $390,000 in APD dog mauling case

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

A man who claims he suffered permanent injuries after being attacked by an Albuquerque Police Department dog is getting nearly $400,000 from the city.

The city recently settled with Raymond Roberts, who alleged in a lawsuit last year that an APD canine mauled him while he was sleeping outside in Southeast Albuquerque. Roberts named the city, then-APD Chief Gorden Eden and individual officers who were on the scene.

The city earlier this year agreed to pay Roberts $390,000 to dismiss his claims, according to the latest litigation report Mayor Tim Keller provided the City Council. The report notes 30 settlements from Oct. 1, 2018, through March 31, 2019, totaling about $2.3 million.

One centers on the 1976 death of Jose Farfan. A 2016 lawsuit filed by Farfan’s son alleges that two rogue Albuquerque police detectives kidnapped and killed him. The city settled that case for $90,000, according to that report.

Roberts’ lawsuit alleged that he was sleeping in a backyard with the homeowner’s permission on April 26, 2016, while police began searching the neighborhood for a suspect in an aggravated battery.

Roberts “was not the suspect, nor did he match the description of the suspect the officers were trying to locate,” the suit says.

After an APD officer released his service dog to “roam the area,” it went into the yard where Roberts was staying, entered his tent and attacked Roberts without provocation, according to the lawsuit. Roberts sustained injuries to his chest, back, underarm and arm, causing nerve and vascular damage.

“As a proximate result of the dog bites, Plaintiff suffered permanent injuries to his arm,” the suit says. “After multiple surgeries, Plaintiff still does not have full use, mobility or strength in the arm.”

The suit accused the police of battery, unreasonable force, reckless disregard for Roberts’ rights and more.

The settlement agreement stipulates the payment “does not constitute an admission of liability” by the city.

Roberts’ attorney did not respond to a Journal message.

City spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn called it a “no fault” settlement.

“This type of settlement is seen in cases where the City wants to avoid the additional costs to the taxpayer of taking the case all the way through to trial,” Damazyn wrote in a statement.

The new litigation report also notes the city won seven cases from October of last year through March.

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