Editor's note: This article contains a graphic image of the wounds sustained by London Colvin during an encounter with a police dog.
A Norfolk State University student suffered several injuries when, she claims, a police dog attacked her while she was being arrested for not giving information about a fight she was not involved in.
According to Potomac Local, 21-year-old London Colvin, who is also a private in the Army Reserves, was at an off-campus party when a fight broke out around 2:15 a.m. Sunday. Colvin reportedly refused to give officers information about what took place.
"She was at a party off campus. She said that a fight broke out, and she had nothing to do with the fight. She did say she was at the party, and her and her friends were leaving," Whitney Dunn, the victim’s cousin, told the newspaper. "She was definitely being loud—she did admit to that."
Colvin did not speak with the newspaper, but Dunn, a spokeswoman for the family, told the newspaper that as Colvin, a second-semester junior, was leaving the party, an officer approached her.
"Her and her friends continued to walk, and she said that she definitely continued to be loud, however, they were walking away. The two other police officers approached her—asked her to stop. Whatever the case may be, they had her down on the ground when the dog came. Two of the police officers restrained her on the ground, and then they allowed the dogs to attack her," Dunn told Potomac Local.
Norfolk Police spokesman Daniel Hudson told the newspaper that they were responding to a call involving a large group of people fighting in the street.
"We responded to a massive fight that happened in the street. Apparently there was a call for about 35 individuals who were partaking in a physical fight in the middle of the street," Hudson told Potomac Local. "Once we have that multitude of people, we always have our canine officers respond out there with us for crowd management."
Hudson claims that Colvin became combative while being placed in custody. "There was an officer that was attempting to place the woman in custody for disorderly conduct. When [the officer] tried to place her in custody, she became combative against the officer. Another officer attempted to restrain her, but again, there were multiple people around, so the canine officer deployed the dog to restrain the woman so nobody would get hurt," stated Hudson.
Colvin was treated at a local hospital, where she was given some 40 stitches for wounds she suffered in the incident. A large open wound on her leg could not be closed with stitches, and according to Dunn, Colvin will have to have plastic surgery on the severe gash. (Warning: Graphic image below.)
Hudson told Potomac Local that charges are pending against Colvin, although he did not state what those charges were.
Dunn told the newspaper that she understood that the officers arrested her cousin for being loud, but allowing the dog to attack her while she was already being restrained by two officers was unnecessary.
"How I felt about the situation was, and how I think my whole family feels about the situation is, we can understand her getting arrested, because she was being disorderly or anything like that—however, she didn't have a weapon," Dunn told the newspaper. "She can't put her hands up or remove her hands from anywhere or do anything because she's being restrained by two police officers. So to allow the dog [to attack] is the only thing that we have a problem with."
Read more at Potomac Local.