A Regina man arrested on sexual assault charges Thursday morning is now facing a new criminal charge for the injury of a law enforcement animal during his arrest in a northwest Regina neighbourhood, police say.
It is the first time charges have been laid for the injury of a law enforcement animal in Regina.
The man is accused of sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman in Regina on May 9. Police say several patrol units along with a canine team set out for the 600 block of Garnet Street to arrest him at his residence.
Elizabeth Popowich, spokesperson for the Regina Police Service, said that during an arrest, police have to be prepared for all kinds of things and anything could happen. They knew this person could be armed and violent, so they had extra resources going in to make the arrest.
At approximately 8:10 a.m. on Thursday, police say the suspect left his house on foot and when he was challenged to stop, he continued to run. The canine member then sent his dog in pursuit. The police dog caught up with the suspect and bit his leg, but then broke away unexpectedly as the suspect continued to run, police say. That is when the police dog was injured.
After a few moments, police say a patrol officer was able to take the suspect to the ground without incident. At about the same time, the canine officer confirmed that the police dog was injured.
The dog was taken immediately to a veterinary clinic for treatment of serious injuries. The suspect, already charged for the May 9 sexual assault, faces several other charges.
Police service dog Ralph is expected to make a full recovery.
Joel Kerry Maurer, 34, of Regina, is facing charges of sexual assault, possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to public peace, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and injuring a law enforcement animal.
Maurer makes his first court appearance on these charges in provincial court on Friday.
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