WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH/Gray News) - A K-9 that disappeared from the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office bit a teenager.
The sheriff's office said the K-9 went missing around 7 p.m. Monday from his handler's home.
Around 10:30 p.m., someone found the K-9, put the dog on a leash and walked around the neighborhood trying to locate its owner, without success.
The person returned home, and the dog was placed in the bedroom of a 14-year-old boy.
The sheriff's office said around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, the 14-year-old was walking the dog in the neighborhood. While the boy was attempting to remove the leash, the dog bit the boy on his chest and face.
The boy went home, and the dog remained outside. The boy's mother took him to the Wesley Minor Emergency Clinic for his minor injuries. He has since returned home.
The K-9 was found by his handler at around 6 a.m.
The sheriff's office is still investigating how the dog got out of his handler's enclosure.
The sister, Elizabeth Hill, says they were trying to keep the dog, named Bocephus, safe and warm overnight. She said she's shocked by what happened.
Sedgwick County Sheriff's Sgt. Justin Crafton, who serves as the department's K-9 unit supervisor, said what happened was simply Bocephus responding to instinct.
"(If K-9s) see somebody on the street, they don't understand the difference between an average person and a criminal, depending on the circumstance," Crafton said.
Crafton said when a K-9 doesn't have its vest on after patrol, there's nothing that distinguishes it from other dogs besides its collar.
He said the dogs are microchipped, and besides working with their handler, their interactions are limited.
"They are tools and they're partners of ours, so most of the time, we're not going to expose them to our families. We're not going to expose them to small children," Crafton said.
Hill said she is relieved her brother is back home recovering.
"If anything bad or worse would have happened to him, it would have broken my heart," she said.
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