Home U.K Student 'bitten by police dog' claims he was only watching Bristol riots

Student 'bitten by police dog' claims he was only watching Bristol riots

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Luke Winstone-Acres, 20, was left with two “quite deep” puncture wounds on his calf and one on his shin, and was on antibiotics for a week. He claims he was targeted without provocation while walking away from a Kill the Bill protest last month, Bristol Live reports.

The philosophy student claims he was not protesting but had gone to witness the ugly scenes in Bristol city centre.

He said: “I was very panicked. I had not known a dog was that close to me. The officer left it on my leg for literally five seconds.

“I was walking away, as they’d asked. That’s why I consider the attack with the dog completely unwarranted. The officer didn’t say anything at all for five seconds while the dog was on me.

“The dog clamped down on it and pulled me back a bit. I was looking up at the officer saying ‘please stop’ over and over again.”

Footage captures the moments before the alleged incident and Luke claims it shows he was “walking away from police and not provoking anyone”.

The University of Bristol student continued: “I was not involved in the protest myself. I’d been hearing these crazy stories about how the city was being destroyed, so I went down to see what was going on. I was with a friend.

“You can see me walking away in the footage as police are telling everyone to get back. I was just walking away, and before I know it, a dog comes up behind me and drags me to the ground. I had no idea what was going on.

“I was thinking ‘how could I miss a dog so close to me?’ But I was very far from the main line, there was so much going on and it was so dark.”

The young man used a first-aid kit from his student accommodation to wrap up his wound, before attending the A&E at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Photos show a gruesome gash to his leg.

Luke said: “They told me it would be about a five-hour wait, because of the influx of people in there from the protest and also general restrictions from coronavirus. Thankfully I didn’t have to stay around that long. They just dressed it and put me on a week’s worth of antibiotics.

“People I know have been quite shocked at what happened, especially my mum. One of the blessings I have is the video. When you tell people you were just walking away, people will have doubts. Thank god I have that video.

“My leg is a hell of a lot better now. There’s quite a lot of bruising on the calf still, but for the first couple of days I was limping and struggling to walk.”

Luke added: “I was at the first protest with nothing to protest about, but with something like that happening to me and my friend that night, it gave me something to protest about.

“I have been to a few of the [Kill the Bill] protests since then, peacefully protesting. I’m not thinking all police are like this, but it’s another example, and there are far too many incidents.”

The student has filed a formal complaint with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog.

An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said: “We have recorded a complaint from a 20-year-old man in relation to an incident on Sunday, 21 March after he contacted the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“As we are in the process of reviewing the complaint, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.”



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