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Video: Canton Police Sic Dog On Man For Refusing to Get Out Of His Car

“Stop fighting the dog!”

Police in Canton, Ohio, sicced a K-9 unit on a man earlier this month for refusing to provide identification or step out of his car during a traffic stop.

Graphic video shows police breaking the window of Ronald Wagner's car and siccing a dog on him:

According to local news reports, Wagner was pulled over by an Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper for having a handmade license plate. When asked by a police officer, he refused to hand over his driver's license or registration, or tell the officer his name. After the numbers on Wagner's handmade license plate returned a name linked to a concealed carry license, the officer called for backup.

Police tried to coax Wagner out of the car for 20 minutes, during which he politely but firmly refused to comply. He also told police he wasn't armed. Officers then gave Wagner a final warning, broke his driver's side window, and sicced a K-9 unit, a Belgian Malinois, on him. (The Belgian Malinois is known among police and breed enthusiasts as the "maligator" because of its incredible bite strength and tenacity. Among dog breeds, it's one of the last you would want to latch on to you.)

To be clear, Wagner was required to provide his ID when asked. The local news site CantonRep.com has an extensive explainer quoting state legal experts. The general gist: Yes, you must present a driver's license and registration when asked by a police officer during a traffic stop. No, you may not drive with handwritten tags instead of license plates.

Wagner's insistence that the police orders were legal but not "lawful" sounds like rhetoric used by so-called sovereign citizens, who believe—through rather convoluted reasoning—that they're not bound by licensing laws and other driving requirements. Reason has previously written about sovereign citizens and the reactions they provoke from law enforcement.

It's a seperate question, however, whether Wagner's severely deficient understanding of the law, and his passive resistance, were good reasons for his arm to be ripped to shreds. A dog isn't a negotiator or mental health worker, which might be more useful in some cases than a set of teeth.

Although police no longer use dogs for crowd control, there have been several incidents in recent years of poor oversight or sheer bloodlust leading to bloody police dog maulings. For example, a San Diego officer sicced a K-9 unit on a naked, unarmed man who was tripping on LSD in 2016.

In 2015, a Sarasota Herald Tribune investigation found the local North Port, Florida, police department had sicced dogs on unarmed, juvenile, and in some cases suicidal residents. Text messages uncovered by the newspaper showed K-9 handlers bragging and congratulating each other after their dogs mauled people.

The Canton Police Department told local news outlets it is reviewing the incident to see if any policies were broken.

In the meantime, Wagner has had two surgeries on his mangled arm. He pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor charges at a court hearing earlier this week.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After the numbers on Wagner's handmade license plate returned a name linked to a concealed carry license...

    PROBABLY ALSO HANDMADE.

    It should be illegal to train an animal to attack a human. I would sic a police dog on anyone who did that.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's a seperate question, however, whether Wagner's severely deficient understanding of the law, and his passive resistance, were good reasons for his arm to be ripped to shreds.

    He failed to OBEY. Fucker should have just been executed on the spot. /sarc

  • Yellow Tony||

    But why waste a perfectly good meat sack? Cops seem to be into forcefully shoving their meat twinkies into culprit's holes. I mean, sure, you could mash your genitals against a corpse, but unless you're into necrophilia, you want get the pleasure of mentally fucking them too! You guys are need to step up your game if you ever want to get into law enforcement.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Also fuck grammar and spelling, apparently.

  • Yellow Tony||

    In the meantime, Wagner has had two surgeries on his mangled arm.


    So, the cops unleash a dog on a non-aggressive weirdo who then had to have surgery that will surely be paid by the public because the authorities can't apprehend this gentleman in a peaceful manner.
    Christ.

  • Dillinger||

    broken windows and bitey dogs is totes due process.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Wagner's insistence that the police orders were legal but not "lawful" sounds like rhetoric used by so-called sovereign citizens, who believe—through rather convoluted reasoning—that they're not bound by licensing laws and other driving requirements.

    Yeah, a cop who thinks siccing a dog on a peaceful protester is definitely bigger threat to society than someone who thinks he can drive around with handmade license plates.

    If the point of the exercise was to show who's crazier, Wagner loses and the cop wins the certified nut-job prize.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    What a bunch of fucking pussy cowards! Gotta sic the dog on someone, through a broken window with glass to cut the dog, because they are too damned scared to do it themselves? I'd be embarrassed to know anybody that fucking scared.

    The driver wasn't doing himself any favors with a hand-made plate and refusing to even identify himself, but those copussies need a taste of their own medicine.

  • Juice||

    because they are too damned scared to do it themselves?

    We all know that's not the real reason they did it.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Gotta sic the dog on someone, through a broken window with glass to cut the dog"

    Yeah I was thinking that too. Pretty sure the dog would have been hurt by the broken glass.

  • AustinRoth||

    He is most certainly a self-identified sovereign citizen. As such, the cops showed great restraint. I know a few judges, and they have told me they have more violence issues with them than any other group outside of drug gangs.

  • gormadoc||

    Having "violence issues" somewhere else with someone who only shares political beliefs with the suspect does not warrant siccing dogs on the suspect. It certainly is no normal definition of restraint.

  • AustinRoth||

    Your comment makes no sense.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    It's you then. The sentence makes sense when you stop your authoritarian narrative.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Truman showed great restraint by using only two bombs on Japan.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    And Stalin only eventually killed all the kulaks. They had fair warning.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    I know a few judges, and they have told me that commenters pull anecdotal bullshit out of their asses when they know they're wrong.

  • Jerryskids||

    So did the guy come out of the car when the dog attacked him or did the cops open the door and reach in and drag the guy out, raising the question of why they couldn't have dragged him out of the car without siccing the dog on him? Seems to me once you've broken out the window you can open the door, pepper spray or tase the guy if you have to, drag him out of the car. And of course, if the guy hits the dog the dog is considered a cop for purposes of charging the guy with assaulting a cop, but if the dog handler had jumped in the car and started biting the shit out of the guy, there's not much question it would be considered excessive force, at least by people not named Dunphy.

  • Juice||

    So did the guy come out of the car when the dog attacked him or did the cops open the door and reach in and drag the guy out

    No, they broke the window and threw the dog onto the guy's lap.

  • Juice||

  • Juice||

    After the numbers on Wagner's handmade license plate returned a name linked to a concealed carry license, the officer called for backup.

    Why would he have a concealed carry license?

  • Juice||

    so-called sovereign citizens, who believe—through rather convoluted reasoning—they're not bound by licensing laws and other driving requirements

    They're not. No one is. We are all bound by our fear of the violence that would be used against us in situations just like the one in the video.

  • Chipper Jones||

    Love how they are reviewing to see if policies were followed. No concern as to whether the law was broken as long as policies were followed.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    "Hey, I know it sounds bad that two cops drove up to within spitting distance and then fired on a 12 year old after 1.5 seconds, but that's departmental policy."

    Somehow this crap works in even the most disgusting circumstances.

  • Paloma||

    And then they will come back with "don't tell us how to do our jobs! If you don't have police experience, who are you to criticize".

  • SQRLSY One||

    Take-away lesson is, if you're going to be a "sovereign citizen", be sure to carry a long knife under your seat, with which to stab the living shit out of any beast that is sent into your car to bite the hell out of you! Or at least a sharpened screw-driver, which you were carrying as an ice-pick! Are we still allowed to have ice-picks?

  • Cy||

    Then they'll kill you and the world will remember you as a puppy killing attempted cop killer.

  • JTP||

    To be clear, the state can do anything it wants to a human for not following arbitrary rules other humans made up, even though those rules are only designed to allow the state to assert its authority and therefore perpetuate its existence. Also, to be clear, sovereign citizens are mentally unstable humans who are insane for attempting to claim their own individual sovereignty instead of just accepting the state's rules. Did I sum that up correctly, Reason? For fucks sake, is this still a libertarian publication?

    I would rather watch cat videos all day than read this bullshit. The cops used an attack dog on a fucking human being for not showing his ID to psychopaths and you use that to point out that you're not one of those crazy sovereign citizens type publications?

  • H-daddy||

    I don't make fun of "sovereign citizens" because when I read the Constitution and the history of our nation it seems to me that is exactly what those folks were trying to do. I don't know how cops should deal with these folks but certainly the attack dog was way beyond what was called for. I don't even see how breaking the window is reasonable.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Towing his car away with him in it would have been reasonable... Did anyone think of that?

  • XenoZooValentine||

    They're not allowed to do that because it's not safe.

    Seriously, pretty sure it's illegal to tow a car with anyone in it, in most places.

    Now, if they exercised any common sense about safety, instead of doing whatever policy allowed (common sense be damned) regardless of if it would help the situation, well...

  • Abe Froman||

    In my opinion, each of those cops should be locked up in a cell for a week with a half-dozen wild male feral hogs.
    They can put what's left of them in sock.

  • TangoDelta||

    And what's against the law about being a CCW? You're saying that they sent in the attack dog because they thought he had a CCW which is no reason for sending in an attack dog.

    Sorry for your dog officer but I learned to choke an attacking animal out because they're generally stupid and once you crush their esophagus they don't fight so hard. Shoot if you must but you're escalating the conflict.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "The Canton Police Department told local news outlets it is reviewing the incident to see if any policies were broken."

    And there is where the police admin types lose my sympathy. Because when 'policy' results cops doing something ridiculous, stupid, or dangerous (or all too often, all three) they never hold press conference and say "Clearly the policy in question is badly flawed, and we will be examining whether to simply change it, or if it might be wiser to also fire every stupid sonofabitch who had a hand in writing it."

  • Marty Comanche||

    Then the police union sues for wrongful termination. How can they be at fault? They followed the rules.

    In a sane world we would fire police officers for showing poor judgment. This is not that world.

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