(DELAWARE ONLINE) -- A 23-year-old pregnant woman was bitten by a New Castle County police dog searching for two robbers late Tuesday when she stopped to rest while walking to her home in Claymont.
Calling it an unfortunate incident, county police said the dog has been removed from duty until the incident can be reviewed.
Jordan Hyland, who is 32 weeks pregnant, said she plans to file a complaint, but can't understand how such a thing happened.
"It was excruciating. It hurts really, really bad ... It was painful, it was sudden," she said. " "The dog grabbed on to me and you're thinking, 'This isn't somebody's dog. This isn't random. This isn't a resident's dog. This is like a police canine, an officer essentially.' "
Unfortunately, unintentional bites do happen, said county police spokesman Cpl. John Weglarz.
"We do extensive training and it's one of those unfortunate incidents," he said. "Obviously, when they happen we deal with them appropriately and we investigate it.
"The dog will be taken off the street until the investigation is complete, and we feel that the canine is ready to go back on the street," Weglarz added.
The incidents occurred late Tuesday as police were investigating an armed robbery in the area of the Naamans Village apartments, off Naamans Road near Interstate 95. No arrests have been made in the case.
Hyland said she had finished working at Total Wine & More at 691 Naamans Road about 11 p.m. and was walking to her mother's home in the 2700 block of Jacqueline Drive. She felt winded and sat on some steps near the apartment units when she noticed an officer with a flashlight.
As she turned to look at the officer, Hyland said the dog, being handled by another officer, bit her back. "It probably took five, seven seconds," she said. "But it felt like much longer than that."
The canine ripped into her back leaving several marks, some about a foot long. Hyland said she did not hear any commands to stop and no officer at the scene apologized. At St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Lt. Patrick Crowell did offer an apology, she said.
Doctors treated the wound, but judged it better to leave it open than apply stitches, said Hyland, who left the hospital about 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Hyland, who was at her mother's home Wednesday evening, again wondered how such a think could happen.
"Has this happened before and nobody is saying anything?" she asked. ". . . is this just another way police are overextending their power through their dogs?"
Contact Esteban Parra at 324-2299 or email@example.com.