Ohio police released K-9 on man after mistakenly believing he was driving stolen car

Francis Akhalbey April 26, 2024
Toledo Police released a K-9 on Brandon Upchurch after mistakenly believing he was driving a stolen car -- Image: Toledo Police Department

An Ohio man said a K-9 bit him seven times after he was pulled over by officers who mistakenly believed he was driving a stolen car. In an interview with ABC News, 38-year-old Brandon Upchurch said the April 11 incident has since left him “traumatized.”

He also said he currently cannot work as a result of the injuries he sustained on his elbow and forearm. “My elbow was already messed up,” he said. “I can’t do anything.”

Upchurch said Toledo Police officers executed the traffic stop on his truck while he was driving his cousin home from work. “They instantly came out with the guns drawn,” he recalled. “They did not come to my car and ask me for license, insurance, etc., anything.”

The Toledo Police Department released body camera footage of the incident, and it shows the officers pulled Upchurch over because they suspected he was driving a stolen vehicle. In the footage, the officers are heard instructing Upchurch to exit the vehicle on multiple occasions. Upchurch is also heard asking the reason behind the traffic stop.

After Upchurch exits the vehicle, the officers issue instructions to him. “What am I stopped for?” he is heard repeatedly asking. The officers are also heard repeatedly ordering him to get on the ground. But an officer is seen releasing the police dog on Upchurch as he moves from the curb and starts to kneel.

“Man, I’m not even doing nothing,” the 38-year-old is heard saying. “What did I do?” An officer later informed Upchurch the license plate on the truck was stolen as he was being handcuffed. But Upchurch said that wasn’t the case.

Upchurch is also heard asking for medical attention, to which an officer says, “That’s coming.” The officer is later heard having a conversation with a colleague and saying that Upchurch was a “petulant child” for asking for his injuries to be treated, per ABC News.

In the wake of the arrest, the officers ultimately established the license plate reader “mishit” or “misread” the license plate of the truck Upchurch was driving – meaning that the details they retrieved were inaccurate and the truck’s plate was not the same as that of the car allegedly stolen. 

“Now I know it’s not the plate,” the officer is heard saying. Upchurch also said he did not pose a threat or try to flee. “This is uncalled for over a stolen tag,” he told ABC News. “All they had to do was run the plates again and found out it wasn’t stolen.”

“I have license, insurance, everything is clean with me,” he added. “He even said it on his body cam that he messed up.”

Despite the mistake, Upchurch was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction. The complaint claimed that while the officers were investigating a stolen vehicle case, Upchurch did not comply with their “multiple commands” and also “refused to comply throughout the entirety of the event.”

The Toledo branch of the NAACP condemned the incident, stating that the police releasing the K-9 on Upchurch was “unwarranted” and “inhumane.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 26, 2024


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