‘Eat, Boy, Eat!’ Graffiti Artists Attacked by Police Dog Settle For $175,000

Two South Florida men who were severely bitten by a police dog have settled their civil rights lawsuit against three Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies for $175,000.

Humberto Pellegrino and Pedro Claveria are well-known graffiti artists who were spray-painting freight trains and gondolas when deputies showed up on the night of Jan. 17, 2014. The men said they immediately surrendered but the deputies then provoked the dog to attack them. One deputy yelled,“Eat, boy, eat,” they said.

They said the deputies used excessive and unnecessary force because they were not trying to escape.

The pair will evenly split the settlement against deputies Gerald “Jerry” Wengert, Davis “Chris” Acevedo and Leonard Smith, the Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Tuesday.

Pellegrino and Claveria must pay their medical costs “out of the proceeds of the settlement,” and both sides will have to pay their own legal costs, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom wrote in her Dec. 21 court order.

Pellegrino, 39, and Claveria, 38, said the incident happened at a loading dock near Hammondville Road and Northwest 6th Street in Pompano Beach. Two of their friends who were there were uninjured.

The two street artists said they immediately put their hands up and surrendered when deputies showed up.

“It is our sincere hope that, although we fear this hope will be unrequited, BSO will finally come to its senses and terminate the poison that is Wengert.” — David Brill, one of the attorneys for Pellegrino and Claveria,

Claveria said he lay on his stomach with his hands open and told deputies all four men were unarmed, but Acevedo “sicced” the dog on him.

“All of the defendant deputies made grunting and other noises to antagonize the police dog into attacking Mr. Claveria,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Miami. The dog bit Claveria in the shoulder, upper arm and just below his elbow in an attack he estimated lasted about two minutes.

Claveria said the deputies told the dog: “Get him! Grab him! Good boy!”

Pellegrino, who said he, too, was lying flat on the ground, said Wengert walked over and said: “He’s ready to eat again,” and “I think he’s still hungry.”

The dog bit Pellegrino on both legs for about three minutes, while Wengert “screamed, ‘Eat boy, eat,’” according to the lawsuit.

Wengert and Acevedo, who was the dog’s handler, were the main offenders, while Smith made no effort to stop the attack, according to the lawsuit.

Wengert, 39, who featured in the TLC reality TV show “Unleashed: K-9 Broward County” in 2011, has been the target of repeated claims of police brutality. He has worked in law enforcement since 1999 and for the Broward Sheriff’s Office since 2004. He no longer works with police dogs and is assigned to road patrol in Cooper City, according to agency officials. His current basic salary is $75,673.

“It is our sincere hope that, although we fear this hope will be unrequited, BSO will finally come to its senses and terminate the poison that is Wengert,” David Brill, one of the attorneys for Pellegrino and Claveria, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Tuesday.

For full story visit: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-sb-settlement-bso-dog-wengert-graffiti-20171226-story.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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