A police officer has been commended for his bravery after
stopping a pitbull from mauling its young owner on Saturday.
Constable Ben Klinkenberg of Waitemata has been congratulated
by police officers after he prevented the dog further
attacking the 17-year-old owner at a park area in Auckland's
Mr Klinkenberg was then also attacked by the dog, and fought
and pinned the dog to the ground to stop it from attacking
A 17-year-old was walking his father's pitbull dog when it
had turned on him and began attacking him. Witnesses heard
his screams and called police.
When Mr Klinkenberg arrived, the teenager was on the ground
being savaged by the dog, which was biting him and dragging
Mr Klinkenberg sprayed the dog in the face with pepper spray,
which forced the dog to let go of the victim's arm. The young
man managed to run to safety.
The dog then turned on Mr Klinkenberg and latched onto his
chest, biting into and tearing his protective vest, and
although he managed to radio for help, the dog bit him
several times on both forearms over the next few minutes.
He eventually managed to pin the pitbull to the ground and
hold it there.
An ambulance arrived, but despite his injuries, Mr
Klinkenberg did not let go of the dog because he feared it
would attack others, police said.
Additional police officers arrived and helped to restrain the
dog, and it was then seized by Animal Control. Mr Klinkenberg
and the young man were both taken to hospital. The
17-year-old has a number of dog bites that will require
Mr Klinkenberg had bites and punctures to both forearms that
required stitches, and has since been released from hospital
and is now recovering at home.
Superintendent Bill Searle, District Commander, Waitemata
Police said there was no doubt the Mr Klinkenberg's actions
stopped other people from being seriously injured.
"His bravery in managing to wrestle the dog to the ground and
hold it there, even though he was injured, is highly
"I've spoken to him this morning and thanked him for a job
very well done, and I'm sure the public will be thinking the
same," he said.
Mr Klinkenberg will return to work next week on light duties.