Fishers family plans lawsuit over police K-9 attack

Brandon Murphy and his family are planning a lawsuit against Fishers police over a June dog attack.
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A Fishers teenager and his parents plan to file a lawsuit against the town of Fishers and its police department because of a dog attack.

It happened last month while officers were investigating a deadly stabbing among two other teens in a north side neighborhood.

19-year-old Brandon Murphy and his parents say he was an innocent victim, a bystander, trying to help when the police canine pounced and caused serious injury.

"It was just unimaginable. I mean I didn't expect to see the damage I seen and it was uncalled for," Brandon's father, Lee, said.

Lee and his wife, Nicole, choked up as they talked about their only son. Brandon is recovering from bite wounds to his thigh and groin, wounds that required surgery.

Brandon says he was at a friend's house that night in June along with Connor Shockley left the house to talk to another teen parked in a car out front. Not long after, Brandon says, "I heard a commotion and ran to help and I saw (Connor) lying on the ground with blood showing" in another yard.

Connor was dying of stab wounds following an argument with Corbin Montgomery,18. Montgomery has since been charged murder.

Brandon says he and other teens called 911 and ran to the end of the cul de sac to flag down police. He says it was chaotic, that police arrived with "their guns drawn" and told them to get down.

He says one officer then asked him to stand up and "take him to the body and he told me to run."

A K-9 officer, meantime, was arriving at the scene from a different direction.

"It just came out of nowhere. I didn't see the dog or anything. I wasn't running, I was standing with my hands up...we were all in shock," Brandon said.

He says the dog took him down and wouldn't let go dragging him several dozen yards.

"When I was in cuffs, they tried to get the dog to stop and tased it," Brandon said.

A statement from Fishers Police says the K-9 officer was unaware the other officer had asked Brandon to help. It says he "gave (Brandon) repeated commands to stop running" and when Brandon didn't, the officer "instructed his police K-9 to chase and apprehend."

"Never, never did he give the command to stop running. I was told to run twice by the officer standing behind me," Brandon said.

Fishers Police say the officer "was in complete control of the police K-9 at all times" and that "the police K-9 obeyed the commands of the K-9 officer."

It says the officers "acted in accordance with their training and experience," adding "increased communications between the initial officer and the K-9 officer, may have assisted in determining the individual's actual intent."

The family's attorney David Stewart calls the police statement that the dog was "following orders and acting accordingly bunk and absolutely not true. It was not obeying commands to the point it had to be tased and taken down."

The family wants the dog put down, the officer punished and unspecified damages.

"Nothing was done right, nothing...I shouldn't have been in harm's way," Brandon said.

His father Lee says, "I guess I don't understand. Their motto is to protect and serve and they didn't protect my son, not at all."

The family also says Brandon was "treated as a suspect" when he was at the hospital, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, with parents unable to see him for two hours.

Fishers police declined a request for an interview and the police report from that night, saying Brandon's case was tied to the homicide investigation, which "remains active."

Again, police say Brandon is not a suspect and faces no charges related to anything that night. Meanwhile, the police K-9 is still in service.

Read Fishers Police's Use of Force Review from this case