• Man accuses New Mexico police of excessive force after K-9 attacks, wounds leg

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -

    A man is suing a police department after he says they used excessive force, allowing a police dog to attack him in his living room.

    KOB reported that body camera video from a Clovis Police Department officer shows three officers in an apartment complex hall, asking Dan Lucero to open his door.

    According to KOB, Lucero’s mother called police for a welfare check, believing her son was suicidal. Police responded to his apartment on Feb. 22.

    “We aren’t here to hurt you,” an officer is heard saying on the video, KOB reported. “I assure you of that.”

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    KOAT reported that, in the video, Lucero tells officers he’s going to put his shoes on and come outside, but the officers get impatient.

    The video shows officers enter Lucero’s apartment after two minutes, with their guns drawn. A K-9 named Leo is deployed by Officer Brent Aguilar, who owns the dog, and attacks Lucero, according to KOAT.

    Officers shout at Lucero to be quiet as a police dog continues to bite him. KOAT reported that Lucero did not make any threats to officers and had no weapons.

    “In this instance, we don’t have and threat to any body -- to officers, to citizens, to anybody. The man is talking to them,” Matthew Coyte, Lucero’s attorney, told KOB. “You should respond with conversation, not with force at all. Deescalation: words, communication.”

    The Eastern New Mexico News reported the suit was filed May 15 by Christine Lucero as “the aunt of and Next Friend to Dan Lucero.”

    According to KOB’s report, Lucero’s leg injuries were so bad he spent weeks in a hospital trauma center, including round-the-clock nurse care.

    According The Eastern New Mexico News, Aguilar is listed in four federal lawsuits, including the May 15 suit, alleging excessive force.

    “Aguilar has routinely used unreasonable or excessive force when interacting with members of the community in Clovis,” the suit says, according to The Eastern New Mexico News. It also says police Chief Douglas Ford “has emboldened Defendant Aguilar to continue his practice of excessive force.”

    The Clovis Police Department told KOAT that it would not provide more information beyond what is publicly available.

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