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Man seriously injured by Prince Albert police dog during arrest: oversight agency

The Prince Albert Police Service says a 25-year-old man was bitten by a police dog during his arrest following a chase early Tuesday morning. (Prince Albert Police Service - image credit)
The Prince Albert Police Service says a 25-year-old man was bitten by a police dog during his arrest following a chase early Tuesday morning. (Prince Albert Police Service - image credit)

Saskatchewan's main police oversight agency is investigating an arrest in Prince Albert that resulted in a man being seriously injured after he was bitten by a police dog.

The Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team — which investigates incidents involving police in the province — said in a news release Wednesday that it was notified Tuesday morning about an overnight incident where a person was pursued by Prince Albert police and "seriously injured" during his arrest.

Around 3 a.m. Tuesday, officers saw a 25-year-old man driving a motorcycle in a "dangerous manner" along River Street E., the Prince Albert Police Service said in its own news release on Tuesday.

The officers tried to stop the motorcycle, but the man tried to evade them, the police service said. The man ditched the bike on Macdowall Crescent, several kilometres away, and tried to flee on foot, police said.

Patrol officers and a canine unit found him about a block down the street, police said.

"As a result of the canine apprehension," the man "sustained an injury," the police service said, but it did not provide any further details on that injury.

The Serious Incident Response Team's Wednesday news release said one police dog was used and "the subject of the pursuit … was seriously injured."

Police officers provided first aid to the man, and paramedics then rushed him to the hospital for treatment, SIRT said.

The man was returned to police custody, but required followup medical treatment, according to the police oversight agency.

The police service notified the agency, whose mandate includes investigating instances where a person is injured due to police action, or while in custody. SIRT is now investigating the circumstances around the man's injury.

The police service will maintain responsibility for the investigation into man's alleged offences, SIRT said.

Police say the man appeared in provincial court Tuesday in Prince Albert, about 130 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. He is accused of multiple offences, including dangerous operation of a vehicle, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, according to the police service's release.

The Prince Albert Police Service says it is co-operating with the oversight agency, but cannot comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

Because the injured man is Indigenous, the oversight agency will also appoint a First Nations or Métis community liaison to help with the investigation, as per Section 91.12 of Saskatchewan's Police Act.

SIRT said it will publicly release a report about its findings within 90 days of the end of its investigation.