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FBI looking into Wilmington police dog attack

WILMINGTON (AP) — The FBI is looking into a biting incident involving a Wilmington police dog that was lifted into a suspect’s vehicle window.

FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch confirmed the investigation, but would not provide details, The StarNews of Wilmington reported.

A New Hanover County grand jury this week concluded there was no wrong-doing by Wilmington Officer Stafford Brister.

A video of a police chase shows Brister approaching a suspect’s car after it had been stopped following a 13-minute chase. The video shows Brister lifting his dog into the open window and the dog biting Johnnie Lamont Williams.

The chase had begun when police said Williams drove through a driving while impaired checkpoint Nov. 1, nearly striking an officer. Williams led police on a chase through the city, side-swiping one police car and ramming another.

Williams was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with a bite wound to his shoulder. Williams also had scratches on his face.

Brister’s attorney said the officer was protecting himself and other officers against the possibility that Williams would try to move his vehicle again.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says the department is conducting an internal investigation of the dog biting. Evangelous hopes to have the investigation wrapped up next week.


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