Sheriff’s K-9 dog gets loose, bites Walmart worker
A Fayetteville Walmart employee was bitten by a Fayette Sheriff’s K-9 early Thursday morning after the vehicle housing the dog became unlocked in the parking lot.
The 57-second incident was caught on the store’s video and showed no one opening the door prior the dog exiting the vehicle. The “bail-out” system on the vehicle is being replaced after a subsequent call to the manufacturer identified problems with similar units.
Maj. Bryan Woodie with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said the incident occurred Thursday at 2:04 a.m. Woodie said the deputy had arrived at the 24-hour Walmart at 1:58 a.m. to use the restroom. At 2:04:39 a.m. the store’s video camera showed the vehicle door opening even though no one had approached the vehicle, Woodie said.
As is customary when the door is opened on a K-9 vehicle, the dog exited, said Woodie. The dog subsequently bit 52-year-old Walmart employee Mang Dieke first on the arm and then in the groin area, Woodie said. Dieke was outside the store on his dinner break, Woodie added.
Woodie said the store’s video at 2:05:32 a.m. showed Dieke entering the store while dragging the dog still attached to his groin area. The deputy was approaching the store entrance as Dieke was calling for help.
The deputy recalled the dog, called for an ambulance and returned the dog to his vehicle, Woodie said. The elapsed time from the dog’s exit from the vehicle and the deputy gaining control of the animal was 57 seconds, according to the video, Woodie said.
Dieke was transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital for treatment, said Woodie.
Given that the vehicle had been locked and secured prior to the deputy entering the store and because the “bail-out” locking system is mechanical, sheriff’s personnel Thursday morning contacted the manufacturer. Woodie said the manufacturer advised that there had been reports of problems with the 3-year-old system and that the transmitters were being replaced.
Noting that such an incident had never occurred with a bail-out system prior to this occasion, Woodie said that out of an abundance of caution the sheriff’s office is removing and replacing the transmitters and receivers in its vehicles that might be subject to interference from other keyless remote systems.