Police officer seriously injured in dog attack, court hears

Police officer seriously injured in dog attack, court hears

A Canberra police officer was forced to fire his gun at a dog in the middle of its vicious attack on his colleague, court documents say.

The attack left an officer seriously injured and waiting in hospital for surgery on Monday. During the attack, she was bitten on the hip, calf and hand, the latter causing nerve and tendon damage.

Much of the constable's calf muscle was removed from the bone, documents tendered to the court reveal.

Police say that alleged thief Matthew John Millard made no attempt to prevent the American Pitbull escaping his unit before it attacked and seriously injured the female constable.

Mr Millard then made no attempt to get control of his dog, even as the officers used capsicum spray, a Taser and eventually a bullet to try to stop its attack, the court documents say.


Mr Millard, 35, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday where he stood from a wheelchair and was formally charged with theft, causing harm to a Commonwealth public official and three counts of causing grievous bodily harm by negligent act or omission.

He made a failed attempt at release on bail after telling the magistrate that he needed to pick up his girlfriend, who was returning from a three-month holiday in Thailand and who could not afford to get home to Rivett.

Prosecutors opposed bail, saying there was a risk of the man reoffending while on bail and a risk he would not appear in court when required.

But the man's Legal Aid duty lawyer said the dog had been seized so the likelihood of his reoffending was diminished.

The lawyer also told the court he had been instructed that Mr Millard's partner had been on a three-month holiday in Thailand and was expecting Mr Millard to pick her up this evening.

Police were investigating the alleged theft of a red mobility scooter from the Cooleman Court shopping centre when they went to Mr Millard's home in Lomatia Place on Sunday.

Documents tendered in court say the dog was growing loudly and "viciously" at the police when they knocked on the door to speak to Mr Millard.

Mr Millard told the dog to "stay boy" and then opened the screen door.

Police ran into a courtyeard area, where the dog started to "aggressively dart" between officers.

It's alleged Mr Millard yelled repeatedly at police not to hurt the dog but made no attempt to get control of it.

Mr Millard did not respond to police shouts to get his dog inside.

A police bullet and Taser shot missed the dog and capsicum spray had been ineffective.

"Police believe the defendant was negligent in his actions when he allowed the dog to leave the premises and did nothing to prevent his escape," the documents say.

It's alleged he repeatedly failed to intervene or prevent the dog from hurting the constable.

Police and neighbours eventually grabbed the dog by the collar and into Mr Millard's unit.

Police allege they found the red scooter at Mr Millard's property.

Magistrate Bernadette Boss refused Mr Millard bail on Monday, with reference to his "substantial history" of offending.

Mr Millard swore at the police officers in court before he was wheeled from court by corrections officer.

He also simulated a gun with his finger and pointed it at the officers while saying "pow, pow, pow" and calling the officers "f---ing dogs" and "f---ing maggots".

The animal was seized by Domestic Animal Services, and the court heard other residents had raised concerns in the past about it being vicious.

Mr Millard did not enter pleas.

The case returns to court at a later date.

Alexandra Back is a reporter with The Canberra Times

Most Viewed in National