Woman bitten by K9 dog demands help with medical bills

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A Centennial woman bitten by an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s dog has demanded the department pay her medical bills.

The department acknowledged that the dog escaped from the deputy’s car, but has denied the woman’s medical claim.

On Nov. 11, 2013, Alexis Albanese and her boyfriend John Herreman said they had just gotten out of a friend’s car to check-in to the Extended Stay America off Interstate 25 and Arapahoe Road. That friend pulled into a handicapped spot to drop them off, which possibly caught the deputy’s attention. He pulled in behind them and got out. That’s when his dog escaped from his patrol car.

Albanese’s boyfriend saw the whole thing.

"She’s right behind me, I hear her scream and I turn around and there's a dog hanging from her arm,” Herreman said.

The couple said the deputy called off his dog and got it to release its grip and apologized to Albanese.

“I was in shock, my adrenaline was going,” she said.

The deputy then called an ambulance.

"It was cold out, so I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt and a winter jacket over it, so the dog had to get through all those layers,” Albanese said.

She didn’t have medical insurance at the time.

Months later, she said her medical bills are mounting, about $15,000, from both the bite and subsequent infection.

“It was swelled up so big it looked like I had a golf ball underneath my skin,” she said. “It broke the stitch, that`s how bad it swelled up.”

But the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office denied her claim.

In a letter to her lawyer, the Assistant County Attorney wrote, “The report and records applicable to the incident demonstrate that the dog escaped from Deputy Cook’s patrol car without his knowledge and that Deputy Cook quickly regained control over the dog once he became aware of the situation. Unfortunately, the dog, Orry, bit Ms. Albanese before Deputy Cook was able to do this.”

Albanese said she doesn’t want anything to happen to the dog, but would like help with her medical bills and suggests that in the future “they need to learn to roll up their window.”

FOX31 reached out to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. As of close of business on Tuesday, we have not received a response.


  • Robert Gift

    What’s the problem, Arapahoe County Sheriff?
    You want to wa$te money in court and attorney fees opposing paying medical bills which you rightfully should pay?
    In addition to the $15,000, to what will your opposition increase the total?
    Or was she really not hurt?

  • Lynette

    If you kick or hit a K-9 officer, you can and will be charged with assault on a police officer!!! In this case, the “officer” assaulted the citizen and is therefore liable!!!! I hope nothing happens to the day, because as far as he was concerned, he was doing his job. I would hold the human officer liable for not controlling the situation.

    • Duke Paulsen

      Yes — K9 was “doing his job.”
      NO — K9 did a thing WITHOUT ORDERS — even if the “duty” was correct, an Order was NOT given by the commanding (Police) Officer to perform the “duty.” Many a Soldier have been severely Court Marshaled for stuff like this. But since the K9 is NOT Human but rather a “tool” on the Officer’s arsenal — I do agree with “Rock Wood” that the animal should for the same kind of charges meted out against the Civilian population — should be destroyed. The K9 — like the Officer is NOT above the Law.

  • Jack

    Sue them for medical, pain and suffering and anything else you can get. The officer clearly was not in control of his animal. If her dog did that, the sheriff would write her up for failure to control and from what I’ve seen about cops lately they would probably shoot her dog!

  • thisismyboomstick

    Memo for the county attorney: Get used to hearing the phrase “we the jury find the Arapahoe County SO K-9 as the proximate cause of Ms. Albaneses’ injuries and we find for the plaintiff.”

    I’m *sure* the taxpayers won’t mind the payout.

  • Myke Hermann (@MykeHermann)

    How far would that excuse go if a mere citizens dog escaped and bit someone? I’m betting it wouldn’t be far. Bottom line is the officers negligence allowed the K9 to escape and cause bodily harm to a taxpayer.

  • Fda18th

    I’d bet if she were a sheriff diddling kids while high on meth they’d name a building after her but god forbid they pay for their responsibilities

  • Duke Paulsen

    Isn’t the K9 a “weapon??” Off. could NOT / did NOT have any CONTROL over the Weapon in question. Hmm — I smell culpability to the Nth degree — Off. & County BOTH liable.

  • Dale Gross

    Just one more example in a litany of examples of how police are criminals (or worse). Arapahoe SD is clearly at fault but should have to pay quadruple damages for attempting to deflect responsibility. The Arapahoe SD should be dismantled by the feds.

  • Bolivar Shagnasty

    “The report and records applicable to the incident demonstrate that the dog escaped from Deputy Cook’s patrol car without his knowledge and that Deputy Cook quickly regained control over the dog once he became aware of the situation”

    It is the responsibility of the officer in charge to maintain and secure his partner at all times.
    For the department to be pandering down to this girl saying that because the dog jumped out on its own, the department owns no responsibility to the incident is ridiculous!!!

    Man up, and pay for this girls medical bills.

  • C1SCO

    If I had a dog get off a leash and bite someone, I would be fined, have to pay the medical bills, and maybe put in jail.

    If a cop breaks the same law? Absolutely nothing, not even a suspension. In fact they will just refuse to pay and get away with it. The people enforcing the law having no respect for the law is disgusting.

  • Jacob

    Flip this around in america today, If a family pet jumped out of the car and charged the officer, biting him, the dog would have been shot to death on the spot. The least this woman should get is her medical bills paid for for the officer’s negligence.

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