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Colorado Springs settles police K9 bite case for $190,000


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- A man bitten by a Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) K9 officer during an arrest in 2021, is now getting a $190,000 payment after settling a legal claim with the city.

Injuries to Christopher Correll (Frank Law Firm)

In March of 2021, police were searching for Christopher Correll after receiving a call for a domestic disturbance. Correll had left the place of the alleged incident and was found hiding from police underneath a truck.

Police-worn body camera video shows that when police found Correll, they were able to get him to stand up from underneath the truck, and eventually had him put his arms up in the air, as he appeared to argue with police.

Correll was surrounded by three police officers, including Police K9 Odin, as well as CSPD K9 Sergeant Mike Snuggs.

Correll had eventually put his arms down and had not turned around as police requested. Odin then ran at Correll, bringing him down to the ground while biting at his legs.

Correll was taken into custody and then treated at a local hospital. At the time, police said in a press release that Correll's injuries were minor.

But according to Correll's attorney Adam Frank, "K-9 Odin inflicted horrific injuries, ripping holes in Mr. Correll’s leg that required numerous skin grafts to repair as well as weeks in the hospital."

The settlement, negotiated by the city attorney's office, was approved by the Colorado Springs City Council on a 6-1 vote at a May 24 Colorado Springs City Council meeting. Councilman Dave Donnelson was the lone vote against the settlement.

"Far from being a commendable use of a K-9, this incident was textbook police brutality," Frank said. "At the time Sergeant Snuggs sent Odin to attack Mr. Correll, Mr. Correll was standing still in the middle of a field surrounded by three CSPD officers, armed with a taser, a handgun, and a K-9 respectively. He posed no threat to anyone, and he wasn’t going anywhere. All the officers needed to do was walk up to Mr. Correll and arrest him."

KRDO reached out to the City of Colorado Springs to learn more about the details of the settlement and if it would be paid out through insurance or if it would be funded by taxpayers.

Thursday, officials confirmed the City of Colorado Springs was paying the settlement, not insurance. That means that taxpayers are footing the bill.

"Sergeant Snuggs sent his K-9 to attack Mr. Correll simply because he could, no matter the consequences for Mr. Correll, which were horrible. Responsibility for Sergeant Snuggs’ callous decision now falls solely on the taxpayers of Colorado Springs."

A representative from the Colorado Springs Police Department said that CSPD would withhold comment on the incident and the settlement until receiving further guidance from the city.

Frank added that Correll no longer lives in Colorado and would like to move on from the incident.

"As upset as Mr. Correll is with Sergeant Snuggs, he is pleased that Colorado Springs chose to do the right thing and give him a remedy for the brutal attack he suffered from its K-9. Mr. Correll took responsibility for the incident that led the police to contact him. Now that CSPD has done the same, he is ready to move on with his life."

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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