Dog bit man yesterday, but it was the wrong man.
Gunner 1, a German shepherd with the D.C. police department's K9 squad, bit Officer Doug Jones in the right arm and right leg while chasing two burglary suspects. Jones was treated at Washington Hospital Center and released.
The mishap occurred just after 4 a.m. yesterday after neighbors reported a burglary at Tom's Variety store in the 100 block of Kennedy Street NW. Officers responding to the call found the store's front door forced open, and mounted a search.
Besides sending officers on foot and in patrol cars, police also called for a K9 unit to search the neighborhood.
Gunner 1's handler, Officer Frederick Lewis, spotted two teen-aged suspects several blocks away behind the 5300 block of Second Street NW, and told the dog to go after one of the fleeing youths, said Deputy Chief Clay Goldston of the department's 4th District. The dog dashed toward the closest suspect, but Jones ran into the dog's path while chasing the youths, Goldston said. The dog bit the officer, and Lewis called off the dog.
Other officers caught the suspects in the same area, police said. Police said they recovered $14 worth of cigarettes from the youths, and charged them with burglary.
Police officials said that officers try to teach police dogs not to go after persons in police uniform, but the animals sometimes cannot make the distinction while in hot pursuit.