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A police officer in Salt lake City, Utah, has been charged with aggravated assault after video showed him ordering a K-9 to attack a Black man in his own yard. The charge is a second-degree felony, according to the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office. 

Video of the April 24 incident, during which officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call, surfaced in August.

The video showed Officer Nickolas Pearce telling 36-year-old Jeffery Ryans to "Get on the ground or you're gonna get bit."  

Ryans "did not express any intentions or engage in actions reflecting he was going to resist the officers," the district attorney's office said in a probable cause statement released Wednesday.

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Three seconds after Pearce ordered Ryans to get on the ground, he kicked Ryans in the leg, according to the statement. Ryans dropped to his knees with his hands in the air. Seconds later, with Ryans still kneeling on the ground, video showed Pearce ordering the dog to attack.

"I'm on the ground, why are you biting me? I'm on the ground, stop," Ryans could be heard saying as the dog bit into his leg. 

"Good boy, good boy," the officer was heard saying, as Ryans appeared to scream in pain, asking "Why are you guys doing this?" 

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Ryans' attorney condemned the incident. "Even when the dog starts to bite him, he's still just laying there," Dan Garner told CBS News in August. "Looks like someone took a chainsaw to his leg."

A photograph of Ryans' leg after the attack. CBS News

The probable cause statement said that Ryans' medical records show he suffered "two lacerations described as approximately 4 inch wide by 3 inch long and approximately 5 inch long by 1 inch wide," and that the injuries resulted in "prolonged loss of the use of his left leg following surgery."

"Complications resulting from the dog bites have resulted in protracted impairment of his leg and permanent disfigurement of the leg due to visible scarring from the dog bites," the statement added. 

Police said that Ryans was violating a protective order from his wife. But Ryans claims the order was supposed to have been lifted. 

The officer was suspended in August. Salt Lake Police said in a statement that they were aware of the new charges, and were finalizing an internal affairs investigation into the matter. 

"If Internal Affairs finds that Officer Pearce committed a violation, the Chief's Office will follow the disciplinary process required under state and federal law," the statement said. "This can take some time, but we will carry this out as expediently as possible to bring a prompt conclusion to this matter." 

Carter Evans contributed reporting. 

News Source: CBS News

Tags: on the ground

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Flesh-eating bacteria causes womans leg to rot after hiking in Hawaii

A hiker in Hawaii was impaled by a tree — and became infected with a rare flesh-eating bacteria that caused her leg to rot, according to a report.

The 72-year-old woman was hiking on a lava field when she lost her balance and became struck by a branch close to the ground, according to a case study published Tuesday in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports.

She visited a local clinic six days later, received stitches and was sent home with a course of antibiotics, researchers said.

But after she finished the drugs, she became concerned about discoloring on her skin and a foul-smelling liquid on the wound, Newsweek reported.

She visited a Washington state emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacteria known as Leclercia adecarboxylata or L. adecarboxylata, researchers said.

Researchers said the pathogen found in aquatic environments is rare among patients with a healthy immune system, though can be responsible for death.

The woman underwent surgery to cut the infection out of her leg and then was discharged with more antibiotics six days later, researchers said.

In their findings, the researchers urge physicians to consider the bacteria as a possible cause of infection even among patients who are not immunocompromised, the outlet reported.

Filed under bacteria ,  hawaii ,  health ,  9/30/20

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