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Ohio investigates why a police dog was deployed on a surrendering truck driver

Jul 24, 2023, 3:06 PM

(CNN) —The unarmed Black man who was attacked by a police K-9 while surrendering to authorities with his hands up earlier this month told emergency dispatchers that officers were “trying to kill” him and he did not feel safe pulling over, according to audio recordings of his 911 calls.

Jadarrius Rose, 23, was bitten by a Circleville, Ohio, police dog following a vehicle pursuit on July 4, after police say he refused to pull over the semitruck he was driving.

According to the recordings released by the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, Rose repeatedly told the dispatcher he was confused about why he was being pulled over and why police had their guns drawn after he briefly stopped the truck before driving away.

“I parked the truck and I was about to comply with them, but they all had they guns drawn out for whatever reason,” Rose said, per the recordings.

The dispatcher told Rose multiple times he needed to stop and comply with police, saying, “You need to pull over. You’re going to get yourself in more trouble than you’re already in.”

“I don’t know why they’re trying to kill me,” Rose said.

“They’re not trying to kill you,” the dispatcher said.

“Yes they are,” Rose responded, adding, “I do not feel safe with stopping.”

Soon after, Rose pulled over and exited the semitruck, surrounded by several police cars and officers, footage released by the State Highway Patrol shows. That’s when he was bitten by the Circleville K-9, despite several warnings from a state trooper not to release the dog while Rose’s hands were up. It was unclear whether the state trooper could be heard by other officers at the scene.

Rose was treated and released from a hospital before being taken to the Ross County Jail, according to a case report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which notes he faced a charge of failure to comply with order or signal by a police officer, a fourth-degree felony.

Rose was released from custody July 7, the Ross County Prosecutor’s Office told CNN, adding the office is still collecting evidence before it determines whether to move forward with the charge against him.

On Monday, Circleville Mayor Don McIlroy identified the Circleville officer who deployed the dog as Officer Ryan Speakman. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, the mayor told CNN.

CNN has attempted to reach Speakman for comment. CNN has also reached out to an attorney for the Ohio Patrolman’s Benevolent Association for comment.

The incident is now set to be evaluated by a use of force review board, whose findings are expected to be released the week of July 31, McIlroy and Police Chief G. Shawn Baer said in a joint statement last Friday.

The statement confirmed the Circleville Police Department “was involved in a mutual aid request by the Ohio State Highway Patrol” after the driver of a semitruck refused to stop. The K-9 unit in question responded to assist highway patrol, the statement said.

“In compliance with the Circleville Police Department Policy, a Use of Force Review Board was convened immediately and is reviewing the incident,” the statement said.


Dog attack followed vehicle pursuit


The incident occurred after a lengthy chase that began as officers attempted to pull over a commercial semitruck police say failed to stop for an inspection, according to the Highway Patrol case report and footage released by the agency.

A Motor Carrier Enforcement inspector tried to stop the semitruck, which was traveling west on US 35 in Jackson County, Ohio, due to a missing mud flap, the case report says. But when the inspector turned on the lights on his marked patrol vehicle, the “suspect vehicle continued west on US 35,” the report says, noting the driver made eye contact with the inspector.

When the driver – identified as Rose – failed to stop, the inspector notified dispatch to send a marked patrol unit to assist, the case report says.

The video shows authorities pursuing the semitruck, which appeared to initially slow down and stop. As it does, the footage shows an officer getting out of a vehicle, pointing a weapon toward the truck and ordering the driver to get out. The driver does not exit the vehicle, however, and starts driving again. Multiple law enforcement vehicles are shown joining the chase, the footage shows.

The driver eventually stops the semitruck and gets out of the vehicle surrounded by several police cars and officers, the video shows, before cutting to what appears to be a state trooper getting out of his vehicle and walking toward the driver.

“Come to me,” an officer is heard saying to the driver. Another adds, “get on the ground or you’re going to get bit.”

The driver is shown on the road with his hands up.

“Do not release the dog with his hands up,” a state trooper warns several times from a distance, though it is unclear if the state trooper could be heard by other officers.

“Circleville Police Department arrived on scene and stopped in the southbound lanes of US-23 adjacent to the suspect,” the redacted case report reads. “Circleville K9 Officer R. Speakman exited his patrol car and began giving commands to the suspect. Circleville K9 Officer R. Speakman deployed his K9 on the suspect.”

The dog was released after repeated warnings from the state trooper, the footage shows. The dog runs toward officers and then turns to Rose and attacks him, pulling him to the ground, the video shows.

“Get the dog off of him,” the same state trooper yells several times.

Rose is seen and heard screaming and crying out, “get the dog off of me … please … please … get it off.”

He continues to cry out as officers call out for a first aid kit. Rose was later shown being treated by the officers.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Ryan Purpura confirmed the Circleville Police officer “deployed their canine” as troopers tried to “gain compliance by providing verbal commands to the suspect,” resulting in Rose being bitten.

“The suspect was then taken into custody and troopers immediately provided first aid and contacted EMS to respond. This case remains under investigation and the Patrol is unable to provide any further details at this time,” Purpura added.

Rose’s attorney declined to comment, but the president of the NAACP’s Columbus Branch Nana Watson called the officer’s actions “barbaric,” adding they elicited “horrible memories and images of the unleashing of dogs on civil (rights) activists that occurred in the South during the 1960’s.”

“It is our hope that a thorough investigation is conducted and that Justice is served up to and including disciplinary action/termination of the involved officer.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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Ohio investigates why a police dog was deployed on a surrendering truck driver