Darlington County K9 that attacked woman being examined


A Darlington County Sheriff's K9 that mauled woman nearly two weeks ago is being examined by K9 experts to determine what triggered the dog to attack, according to Lt. Robby Kilgo with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office.

Kilgo said the K9's handler techniques are also being reviewed.

ABC 15 News has obtained a copy of an incident report detailing the vicious mauling of an woman last Saturday night on Clyde School and Kingston Roads near McBee by Darlington County K9.

The report indicate the K9's handler was looking for a burglar suspect when it attacked and mauled Pat Butler, 53, who was an innocent bystander.

The incident report says the handler gave commands for the K9 to come back, which he did not. The report says the handler, "advised all persons in the yard to stop and not move."

The deputy says in the report, "K-9 Sky ran to the backyard of the residence to the wood line. I gave him command to kennel back to the patrol vehicle. After a few seconds, he went back to my patrol vehicle to put him back in the kennel, Sky observed two people walking towards our location in the roadway. He then began running towards them. I gave him commands again to recall back to me and he did not. The persons walking down the road began running away from our direction. I yelled multiple times for them to stop running and to not move."

The report says one person stopped, but Butler didn't.

It says Sky, "Grabbed her by the left arm and took her to the ground."

The K-9's handler says, when he made to where they were, he gave Sky commands for him to release Butler and he did.

Butler's attorney Rose Mary Parham released the following statement:

"The violent attack of my 53-year-old client is inexcusable. Pat remains hospitalized and continues to suffer from permanent, disfiguring injuries she received during Saturday night’s mauling. Pat was an innocent bystander who walked out of her home to see why police were in her neighborhood when she was viciously attacked by Darlington County K-9 “Sky.” Assuming that the incident report is an accurate version of events, which we do not concede, the report paints a horrifying picture of a K-9 that went rogue and failed to obey his master’s commands. We received confirmation yesterday from the Sheriff’s Office that Sky had previously bitten at least two other individuals. There is no excuse for having a savage, out of control K-9 alive much less a member of a Sheriff’s Office. Such an animal is an extreme danger to the citizens of Darlington County and a financial liability to the taxpayers of South Carolina. "

Lt. Robby Kilgo with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office said they're deeply sorry about what happened.

Butler remains in the hospital and could be released later this week.

Kilgo with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office said they're deeply sorry about what happened.

"There was nothing malicious about this incident. This Accident unintentional by the deputy on scene, who is absolutely devastated. We would obviously never wished for this to happen and we would've done everything we can to take it back. But all we can do from here on out is how we handle it going forward," said Kilgo.

Kilgo said they've taken the dog off of active duty for now and will have the K-9 and his handler's techniques evaluated to determine what went wrong.

"You don't know what you don't know. And all we can do is do a better job going forward. And that's what we are attempting to do. We had our vehicles inspected. We're going to have the dog evaluated by somebody that's never dealt with the dog before that could look at the trainer. We're going to have somebody look at this dog, look at the handler with an unbiased view. And make an assessment of it," said Kilgo.

Kilgo said the dog and the other K-9's trainer has more than 30 years experience and has worked with military dogs.

He said K9 Sky has been a great asset to the department up to this point.

"This dog is apprehended fleeing felons with stolen firearms. This dog has apprehended burglary suspects with knives. So, obviously, in the past, his dog has done an amazing job for the people of Darlington County in keeping them safe."

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