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Arapahoe Co. Sheriff to investigate medical claims from K9 attack

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- The Arapahoe County Sheriff is promising to investigate after a FOX31 Denver exclusive report in which a woman, who was attacked by a sheriff’s department K9, had her medical claim denied by the Arapahoe County Attorney.

An Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department K9 jumped through the window of a deputy’s vehicle in early November and bit Alexis Albanese on the arm.

The Arapahoe County Attorney didn’t dispute the bite, which took place in the parking lot of an Extended Stay America at about 2 a.m., but denied Albanese’s request to pay her medical expenses.

"It's not right, I don't think,” said Albanese, who claims she’s been billed roughly $15,000 for medical care stemming from the bite.

"At the end of the day I will do the right thing," said Arapahoe County Sheriff David Walcher.

While the county attorney denied Albanese’s claim in March, Walcher said he has decided to look into the case himself following the FOX31 Denver report on Tuesday.

"The first I became aware of the denial of any claim for those medical costs was literally this morning," Walcher said. "No one is attempting to keep me out of the loop or prevent the right thing from being done, but I think on this case I do want to weigh in and after I review everything that we have."

Though Sheriff Walcher confirmed that the K9 jumped out the window and bit Albanese, he said there are other factors to look into, including what he called criminal conduct associated with the car that dropped her off.

Walcher referenced a police report stemming from the incident.

FOX31 Denver requested a copy of the report, but has yet to obtain it.

Sheriff Walcher said he'll also be looking into the handling of the dog.

"Part of the investigation is looking at the circumstances surrounding how that dog got out of that car and why that dog isn't properly controlled," the sheriff said.

Despite the previous letter denying to help with medical expenses, the sheriff said he will make his own decision on the issue once he has all the facts.

"If I feel as though, based on the totality of circumstances, that we should pay any or all of those medical expenses, I will certainly make that recommendation," Walcher said. "That is the bottom line. We are going to do the right thing here."

The sheriff said the deputy involved in the incident is no longer with the department, but added that the K9 is.

The dog was assigned to a different deputy.

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3 comments

  • Duke Paulsen

    Sh D. Walcher’s statement reminds me of the TX Gov in “Best Little Whorehouse In Texas” — “Ooooh, I love a little sidestep — now they see me, now they don’t, I’ve come & gone…”

    Yep, a real “possible maybe” — fictional reporter from the same scene in same movie.

  • Dale Gross

    Like I said in an earlier post, this sheriff’s department needs to be dismantled (all probably do). There is a total lack of controls and accountability. But it is so reassuring that only after being outed by the news, he says he’ll get right on it. This guy and his organization are a bunch of criminals with badges.

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