Police Abuse

Police K-9 Attacks Man's Face After Neighbor Calls 911 Over Christmas Tree Burning in Barrel

He had his hands up but couldn't get off the couch, because he had his hands up.

|

via Salt Lake Tribune

In 2013, Martin Hoogveldt burned his Christmas tree in a barrel in his backyard in West Jordan, Utah, to dispose of it. A neighbor called 911 to report an arson. Three cops, including one with a German shepherd K-9 respond to a "felony arson" call. They demand to enter his home and when they don't get an answer they bust in and find Hoogveldt on the couch. They order him to put his hands up and then to get up, but, his lawsuit alleges, Hoogveldt could not get up from his overstuffed couch without putting his hands back down. That's when a cop released the K-9, which attacked Hoogveldt's face. His lawyer released the video at a press conference announcing the lawsuit (you can watch it here, it's graphic, and runs from the cops leaving their car to after the dog attacks the man).

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The other officers then used Tasers on Hoogveldt.

Sykes estimated they used Tasers on him three to four times. One to two minutes later, Pyro bit Hoogveldt severely on his buttocks at Adams' direction, the complaint adds.

Ultimately, he suffered bites to his face, neck, buttocks, leg and arm. The bites cost Hoogveldt about $60,000 in plastic surgery.

"This ruined my life," Hoogveldt said Thursday.

At no point had Hoogveldt harmed anyone, and all Adams knew going in was that he had burned trash in a trash can and "perhaps other similar minor offenses," the complaint reads.

Though the video runs until after the K-9 attack, the West Jordan police insist the officers felt threatened and were justified in their use of force, because there was an empty knife sheath on the table and the fire was still burning in the barrel in the backyard. Hoogveldt, of course, got slammed with a series of charges, including aggravated assault and reckless burning. He pled in abeyance to the burning and eventually all the charges were dismissed.

Ian Adams, one of the cops involved, and who the suit named specifically, previously shot a man he said had a metal handle with a red laser taped to it he thought was a gun. It was ruled justified. None of the cops, of course, have faced any consequences for the way they handled their interaction with Hoogveldt, even with body cam footage available to them for two years.

NEXT: Ronald Bailey Argues that Gene-Editing Human Embryos Is Ethical

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The dog’s name is Pyro????

    1. K9 names are supposed to be kewl, dincha know?

    2. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
      http://www.work-cash.com

      1. So you work like a dog.

  2. I dont see a video or link to one…..

    1. Then your shit is fucked up because it is right there…

  3. HOLY FUCK that’s one vicious goddamn mutt. fuck that dog. fuck that k-9 officer. and fuck the people of that county.

    And if he had kicked or tried to fight that dog before it attacked him he’d be charged with assault of LEO.

    1. I’m biased because I don’t like dogs*, but it’s insane to me that it’s considered normal and uncontroversial to use dogs as weapons. IIRC, back when I was in elementary school (I can’t remember if this was in school itself or in Cub Scouts) the heroes in blue put on a live demonstration of one of their dogs attacking a dude in one of those puffy protective suits.

      *Of course, one would think that those who do like dogs would be doubly against it. I’m aware that some do speak out against it, but it seems to be a pretty small sliver.

      1. *pikey accent*

        Ya don’t like dags?

        1. “Oh… dogs. Yeah, I like dags.”

          (I’ve been waiting months for someone to make a Snatch reference, so thanks)

          1. You are most welcome.

          2. I like caravans more.

            1. “It was us who wanted a caravan.”

              1. Brad Pitt’s finest performance.

                1. Without a doubt.

    2. It isn’t the dog’s fault, he was just doing what he was trained to do.

      And while that’s an acceptable defense for an animal, it amazingly also flies for cops when they commit vicious acts of aggression. Says a lot, doesn’t it?

      1. If that dog was anything but a police dog, it would be destroyed for being “aggressive”. Kind of how if you are anything but a cop you go to jail for shooting people in the back.

        1. I think the rule is “every dog gets one bite”. But if he did it twice…

      2. This is what I am thinking- since these fucking things are so vicious and just grievously wound individuals, WHY THE FUCK ARE WE OKAY WITH POLICE DEPARTMENTS USING THEM?!?!?

        1. The dogs are not vicious, they are trained to attack on command. It’s the idiot handlers who are vicious. Don’t blame the dogs for the malfeasance of the humans directing them.

    3. And if he had kicked or tried to fight that dog before it attacked him he’d be charged with assault of LEO.

      Well, no, he wouldn’t be charged with anything, because in that hypothetical he’d likely be a corpse.

      1. Hmm…posthumous charges, then you can jail the next of kin. I think you may have just created a new revenue stream form of justice.

  4. Ah! NOW it’s Friday!

    BAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKKKKKKOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    1. My thoughts.
      You stole them.
      Again.

      Almanian! (in Kirk’s Kahn! shout)

      1. Why is Kirk yelling at Madeline Kahn? Was Khan Noonien Singh elsewhere?

        /Pedant

        1. Oops.

          To make up for my mistake I present a link to a scene from High Anxiety featuring our beloved Madeline Kahn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDtwYN7WPE4

          1. Hey, I’ve been looking forward to High Anxiety references here, so, kudos!

    2. Man. “KRAAAAAAAAAYEWWWWWWWSKIIIIIIIIIII!!!” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  5. “aggravated assault”

    Look at how he assaulted that poor dog’s teeth with his face!

  6. the officers felt threatened and were justified in their use of force, because there was an empty knife sheath on the table and the fire was still burning in the barrel in the backyard.

    Obviously, the man lured them into his home to stab, butcher, and roast them.
    A narrow escape, to be sure.

    1. Obviously, the man lured them into his home to stab, butcher, and roast them.
      A narrow escape, to be sure.

      I don’t know about you Brooks, but a man sitting on the couch with his hands over his head is very intimidating. Especially when you have three people armed with mace, tazers, guns and a dog. Lucky they got out alive.

      1. Isn’t it amazing that criminals keep their violent impulses in check until police have broken into their house, shouted contradictory commands, and generally create chaos?

        I mean, you’d think one of these criminals would have done a crime in a more convenient and profitable location, like a dark alley, and with a more vulnerable victim, like a guy with a wallet.

        But, no, the criminals lull us into a false sense of security, while they wait for cops to break into their homes…then they unleash their full violent tendencies.

        1. 900 lb housecat = < of a pussy than a typical cop.

      2. Maybe it was an assault couch. Nobody needs more than 2 cushions.

        1. I was reading the comments on a Phillip Rivers article earlier today (his wife is pregnant again). Several people really said “Nobody needs 8 kids!”

          1. What is wrong with people?

            I can’t imagine why anyone wants 8 kids, but it’s none of my business.

      3. Have you considered viewing the entire situation through the eyes of a total pants-wetting coward?

        1. Or though the eyes of someone who, before entering the building, had already decided to fuck the guy up.

  7. A policeman must be ever vigilant. It’s a war zone, out there amongst the civilians.

  8. Oh, hey… Hoogveldt is white. So it’s OK for the cunts from the Freddie Gray thread to give a shit a about police brutality for once.

    1. I don’t want to subject myself. Highlights? Has briannn (if I’m remembering correctly) struck again?

      1. No, more like four Tulpa-puppets and whoever is currently playing dunphy.

        1. Four Tulppets? Gah. Overkill.

        2. I think Tulpa is also currently playing dunphy. So likely five Tulppets.

          1. You know I was contemplating how he would wear 4 sockpuppets and was amused at the mental image, then you brought up the fifth one and I puked.

  9. I think at some point the “felt threatened” will be overplayed. People will start laughing at the idea of an one party’s feelings justifying an attack on a second party.

    1. Not any recent college graduate – they will be able to empathize.

  10. Once again, any–ANY–encounter with the cops can end up with you beaten, maimed, tasered, dead, or any or all of the above. This one is even more egregious because this guy literally did nothing to cause the encounter. So at any time, any of us could be doing nothing and someone else could call the cops and initiate an encounter for us.

    We live in a world where this guy’s situation could happen to any of us. At any time. For no reason. And no one will be punished. Pretty great, right?

    1. Cops came to my house earlier this week. It was about a dog that had gotten loose and bitten the neighbor’s nanny. I took the dog from her and brought it back to its house. No big deal.

      I was still nervous talking to the guy, who I should say was perfectly polite, pleasant, and reasonable. I think my little borough’s cops are alright. They even responded to something bizarre across the street, were greeted at the door by two pit bulls, and simply brought out the woman in medical distress.

      (Yes, AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED)

      1. Well, the thing is that most cops will be decent to most people most of the time. Problem is you never know when you are dealing with a real asshole, or someone who’s had a bad day.

        I live in a tiny town with 3 police and you can pretty much count on them being nice and reasonable. I still avoid any unnecessary contact with them. You never know.

  11. “To control and Kill”

  12. Lets see if I got this straight.

    Cops respond to arson call.
    Cops arrive at specified location, see no evidence that would indicate arson.
    Continue acting as though a crime has been committed.

    1. Apparently, this guy was known to the cops. This was a deliberate provocation on their part, I think. They went in knowing this or something similar was going to be the result. It was their intention.

      Police claim he had previously threatened neighbors with a knife, likely the same neighbors who made the call to police about the tree burning. This was a tactic police employ to deal with someone they otherwise couldn’t get. Get a call, introduce violence and charge the target when he reacts to it.

      1. Get a call, introduce violence and charge the target when he reacts to it.

        They do that all the time. Just watch COPS. They give impossible or conflicting commands, and then immediately attack. I don’t know how people can watch that show without breaking the television.

        1. That’s why I always thought the point of the show was to make cops look bad.

          1. Since my stepson’s father became a cop, that show is all he watches. This guy loves his job because it’s not really a job. It’s a lifestyle. You strut around and do whatever you want because no one will stop you, and you get to beat the fuck out of anyone who doesn’t show you sufficient respect. Again, because no one will stop you. Now the guy’s got a K9 too. I shudder when I have to pick the kid up, like I will in about an hour. Luckily dad doesn’t try to engage me in conversation very often. I can’t stand the guy. The wife can’t stand him either. She only stayed with him as long as she did out of fear. He ended the relationship. She would have ended it earlier, but she was afraid he’d kill her. Now he’s a cop. I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t killed anyone yet.

          2. And the stepson of course worships his dad. It’s a fucked up situation. Five more years until he’s eighteen. Five more years until he’s eighteen. Five more years until he’s eighteen. Five more years until he’s eighteen. Five more years until he’s eighteen.

            1. Yikes. Hopefully the kid develops some healthy teenaged parent-hate before then. Though it often takes people a bit longer than you’d hope to figure out that dad’s an asshole.

              1. The kid does have a healthy fear for his father, but he worships him as well.

                I gained some respect from the kid a while back. He was getting in trouble for lying (with a cop father, golly I wonder where he learned that from) and I told him he could tell the truth and get in trouble for what he did, or lie about it and get in trouble for what he did and for lying about it.

                A few months later I asked him if my advice had helped, and he said his dad hadn’t yelled at him since he took my advice.

                So there is some hope.

            2. Five more years until he’s eighteen.

              I don’t know if I should be happy for you or sad for the as-of-yet unidentified person he dreams of killing someday.

  13. “He had his hands up but couldn’t get off the couch, because he had his hands up.”

    Squats can help with this.

  14. “I was driving down Main Street in the cruiser. The perp was at the four way stop sign to my right. As I passed through the intersection, he looked at me in an extremely threatening manner, so I had no alternative but to throw my vehicle into reverse and ram him. Before he could regain the initiative, I exited my vehicle, leapt onto the hood of his car, and emptied the magazine of my service weapon at him. I had no alternative.”

    1. T J Hooker would just leap onto the hood of your car and hang on for dear life while the perps tried to shake him loose.

  15. Squats can help with this.

    “He lunged out of the chair right at me;arms outstretched, grabbing for my throat. No possible alternative. Good shoot.”

  16. Why would someone send in a dog to a guy on the couch? It’s no fun having a K-9 dog unless he gets a live bite once in a while.

    The dog is an extension of the officer’s dick. That’s why there are no female K-9 dog handlers.

    1. It’s no fun having a K-9 dog unless he gets a live bite once in a while.

      Yeah. Manufacturing probable cause against uppity peasants who refuse searches only scratches the itch for so long.

      1. Those are different dogs.

        1. Really? I didn’t know that.

          1. Yeah, police dogs are usually pretty specialized in their training.
            I don’t know a whole lot about dog training, but I can only imagine that it would be difficult to train a dog to be good at both eating people’s faces off and searching for drugs or bombs or whatever. And different breeds are going to be much better suited for one or the other job.

            1. Yeah – the military has working dogs that get a single job – guard/attack, drug or bomb.

    2. Which is ironic, because the “bitch” jokes would write themselves.

    3. This is offensive to transgender woman cops.

  17. It’s hardly any wonder the cops mimic the Stasi. That town can’t get its shit together: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/p…..t.html.csp

  18. Judging by the state of his house he didn’t have much of a life to ruin.

    1. #poorlivesdontmatter

    2. Judging by the state of his house he didn’t have much of a life to ruin.

      $60k in plastic surgery expenses aren’t going to increase his standard of living much.

    3. Yeah, if you think about it, by causing him to have FOUR plastic surgeries, the cops have injected some much-needed MEANING into his otherwise vapid existence, and I am sure the not-painful-at-all memory of having a German Shepherd (with an expected bite force of pounds of pressure) latched to your jaws and face will cause him many rueful smiles at the wacky unexpectedness of it all for years to come.

      Fuck you with a frozen swordfish…

    4. And that makes it all better, eh?

      That was pretty loathsome of you.

    5. Shitty and drafty it may be, but it was his castle.

      In theory, at least.

  19. Give an impossible command or conflicting orders, then use it as an excuse to assault and kill.

    It’s what cops do.

  20. I don’t understand the problem, is Mr Hoogveldt black or something? Why else get upset about police brutality? I’ll wait patiently to see if Mr Hoogveldt’s neighbors start destroying unrelated private property to find out his ethnicity.

    1. This is why, as brutal as this video is (christ, look what they did AFTER he was traumatized by the dog), no media outlet will give a shit about it…

      1. ‘no media outlet will give a shit about it’

        Because ‘Dog Bites Man’ is not news.

        Duh.

    2. He’s a non-Mormon, which is the Utah equivalent of being black. (I just made that up, but it sounds truthy to me)

      1. They did it because he’s a Dutch-American. Cops hate people with wooden feet, you see.

        1. I remind myself of the time shortly before the Ferguson riots when some local youths beat a white couple with hammers, and killed the husband and his pregnant wife got away thankfully. The media and the authorities concluded that it just couldn’t be a hate crime because the teenagers had no way of knowing that the couple they attacked were Bosnian. I shit you not.

          I wonder if it’s widely accepted in progressive circles that Trayvon Martin wasn’t a hate crime victim because Zimmerman had no way of knowing that Trayvon’s ancestors were of the Hutu tribe.

  21. Well, I’m glad I live where I do.

    A couple of months ago I set my Christmas tree on fire in the yard. There was plenty of snow and it was a calm day, so no danger. And you are generally allowed to burn brush and stuff when there is snow on the ground. But there was an awesomely huge flame.
    My silly neighbor (who recently moved from Utah, interestingly enough) decided that he ought to call the fire department. They must have assumed it probably wasn’t anything because there were no sirens or big red trucks or cops, just a couple of guys in pickups. I told them I had set my Christmas tree on fire, they had no problem with that and they left.

    I guess fire is a bigger concern in the West, but still, it seems like it should have been clear what was really happening when they arrived.

    1. In my town we’re supposed to get a permit first. They’re free. The idea is that if they get a call they can look through the permits, and not respond if it matches a location on one of the permits.

      I’ve burned brush that sometimes made so much smoke that it clouded the road. I have no doubt that some concerned drivers called nine eleven. No one showed up because I had a permit every time.

      1. Where I am they like it if you call before you burn in the winter, but you don’t have to. In the summer you need a permit same as what you describe. Most people know enough not to freak out if they see smoke. But my neighbor isn’t used to our ways, I guess. I should ask what he thinks of all the gun fire that goes on.

        I normally would call if I’m going to burn a bunch of brush, but for a 2 minute Christmas tree fire it seemed unnecessary.

        1. My neighbors like me. I’m likely to show up with a pitcher of homebrew, a gun, a box of bullets, and some targets. Or if it’s at night instead of the gun I’ll bring fireworks. My neighborhood may be rural, but it’s quite noisy.

  22. “cop attacks man”? I see a keyboard, a lampshade, a fur coat, & a Salt Lake Tribune credit.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.