A homeless man’s dog bit the finger of a Columbus police officer early Sunday morning while the man was being arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated.
The incident occurred about 12:30 a.m. near the Circle K located at 1408 Veterans Parkway. Police were called to the scene because the man was making a disturbance, according to a police report. When Officer Joe Coats arrived he talked to the cashier who said the homeless man, Elliott Joseph, was asked to leave several times and didn’t comply.
Coast found Joseph, 36, outside of the store on St. John Way and told him he was under arrest. Joseph tried to leave and told Coats “I am going to make it tough,” according to the police report. Coats then put Joseph on the ground and tried to handcuff him.
That’s when Joseph called his black dog, which was 50 feet away, and began yelling “attack him, attack him,” according to Coats.
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The dog grabbed Coats’ right hand around the little finger area, and Coats pulled his hand out of the dog’s mouth. Coats told Joseph he would shoot him if he didn’t stop the attack, and Joseph eventually called the dog off.
A sergeant helped Coats handcuff Joseph, who was changed with disorderly conduct while intoxicated, obstruction and aggravated assault to a police officer.
Coats was taken to the Midtown Medical Center, where he was treated for a small punctured wound near his right middle finger, and released.