Lawsuit filed against Greenville Co. after K-9 bit teen - FOX Carolina 21

Lawsuit filed against Greenville Co. after K-9 bit teen in backside

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A copy of the lawsuit filed after the dog bite. (July 8, 2014/FOX Carolina) A copy of the lawsuit filed after the dog bite. (July 8, 2014/FOX Carolina)

An Upstate mom has filed a lawsuit seeking damages from Greenville County and the sheriff's office after her teenage son was bit by a deputy K-9.

According to the suit, Tamara Lykes is seeking medical costs, loss of income for her son and damages for the pain and suffering after the bite back in May.

Lykes said 15-year-old Javis was bitten at Hollis Academy.

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office investigated and said a latch failed because of a build-up of fur, allowing K-9 officer Enzo to escape.

The sheriff's office released video of the attack, which Maj. Shea Smith said happened on Goodrich Street back in May. Enzo was with his handler as his handler responded to reports about shots fired amongst a large group.

Smith said the responding deputy saw a group of young men at the parking lot of Hollis Academy and told them to leave, but they didn't.

As the deputy got out of his car to make contact with the group of males, Smith said the dog went after one of the males who was running in the direction of the dog's handler, then bit Javis. Smith said trainers and investigators who have reviewed the incident think Enzo believed his handler was being threatened and reacted to protect the handler.

According to the suit, "Javis Lykes sustained grave bodily injuries to the nervous system and person. The bodily injuries will result in permanent scarring and disability."

The suit also states that the defendants knew the dog was, "dangerous and vicious to people," and they, "had the duty to protect Javis Lykes and their unreasonable failure to do so constituted breach of that duty."

Deputies said Enzo has worked for five years and was taken off the job during the investigation, but has since been re-trained, re-certified and is back in action. Deputies said they have repaired the malfunction that allowed him to escape and have taken steps to prevent it from happening again.

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