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Police officer bitten by dog during arrest

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By Chris Sardelli

Lancaster Police Department Cpl. Jodi Sims is recovering after she was bitten by a dog during the arrest of a disorderly man on May 26.
Michael C. Chavis Sr., 51, 110 S. Hughes St., was charged with threatening the life of a public official, second-degree assault and battery, possession of a dangerous animal, first offense, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and allowing dogs to run at large, according to a Lancaster Police Department booking report.
The chain of events that led to the dog bite and subsequent arrest began as officers responded to the 400 block of Heath Circle about 8:25 p.m. to a call that a man was harassing children, a police department incident report said.
Officers spoke with a woman at the scene who said her children were walking their dog down the street when Chavis began yelling and cursing at them.
Police found Chavis near the scene and noticed his speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet, the report said. After refusing several requests to go back to his home and secure his pit bull which was running in the street, and after repeatedly cursing at officers, the police attempted to arrest Chavis, the report said.
“Chavis attempted to pull away from me,” an officer wrote in the report. “At that time I tripped Chavis, taking him to the ground, advising him to stop resisting. Chavis continued to resist arrest [by] not putting his hands behind his back.”
As they tried to handcuff him, Chavis’ dog charged the officers, snapped at them, and then bit Sims on her upper left thigh, the report said.
“The dog continued to circle officers, barking and attempting to bite us,” an officer said in the report. “Lt. [Craig] Greenlee tased the dog, but the dog broke the wires, breaking the circuit.”
An officer then sprayed the dog several times with pepper spray before it finally laid down, the report said.
Before the dog could return, officers handcuffed Chavis and placed him in a patrol car.
Lancaster County Animal Control Director Joel Hinson responded to the scene, captured the dog and placed it in quarantine.
Sims was then taken to Springs Memorial Hospital emergency room for treatment of her bite. Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant said Friday, May 31, that Sims is on the mend    after her injury.
“Cpl. Sims is fine, bruised and slightly punctured, but doing well and she did not miss any work,” Grant said.
Chavis was jailed at the Municipal Justice Center where he later cursed at officers and said, “People are gonna shoot you,” the report said.
When officers told him no one was going to shoot them, Chavis said, “Yes they will, I’m going to make sure of it,” the report said.
Chavis was released from jail Tuesday, May 28, on a $23,000 surety with proof bond, according to Lancaster Municipal Court records.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416