Child attacked by off duty Pulaski County K-9

NOW: Child attacked by off duty Pulaski County K-9

PULASKI COUNTY, Ind. - Michaela Johns is a single mother of three, and just moved into this Star City home in January. 

Every morning, she leaves for work at the local hardware store, and her 15-year-old son Adrian gets his younger brother Alexander and sister Chloe to the bus. 

On February 29 at about 7 a.m., Johns received a heart stopping phone call.

"My 15-year-old was completely freaked out. All I heard was Seth's dog bit Alexander. And I dropped everything, and I ran," explained Johns.

Her 12-year-old son Alexander had been attacked by two of her neighbor's dogs, one a German Shepherd and the other a Dutch Shepherd. 

" I look over, I see two dogs over, like, to my left. And like, like one of them growls at me.  So, I ran the other way. The other one comes to my side. And it like, blocked my way to my brother. So, I couldn't go to my brother," Alexander describes.

Terrified, Alexander tried to run through the cornfield and tripped.

"They like, like, started jumping on my back.  One went up the back of my shirt and started like trying to bite my back but didn't really get up there. And the other one bit the back of my leg. And so, I started screaming and like, for my brother to come over. And he comes over. And like, tries to get them off," said Alexander.

What is most concerning for the mother of three is that one of the dogs that attacked her son is a highly trained weapon for the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department. 

A Dutch Shepherd named Loki.

ABC57 News did a "Beyond the Badge" segment back in September of 2021 about Loki and his handler Seth Barton, who happens to be Johns' neighbor.  

"Sheriff Schramm came out to see me. And he apologized for everything. He said that to be assured that he would take care of everything and that he told Seth that Loki needed to be leashed and his dogs needed to be controlled," Johns told us.

ABC57 News received a copy of the incident report after filing a freedom of information request. 

The report was labeled "dog bite report information only," and makes no indication anywhere that the dog in question is an off-duty k-9.

It also lists Seth Barton's role as a person involved, not as an off-duty sergeant who is responsible for Loki. 

Also, the report provided to ABC57 news indicates in the bottom left corner of the documents that it was run on February 29 by "S. Barton", on the date of the incident. 

This shows Barton, a supervisor, reviewed a report which his subordinates took. 

According to Pulaski County Department guidelines for canine handlers:

SECTION 310.8 (f):  When off-duty, the canine may be let out of the kennel while under the direct control of the handler. 

An attorney representing the county denied our request for disciplinary records for Sergeant Barton.

This incident has the family on high alert, especially Alexander.  

"We get out of the van at nighttime, and he sees the basketball in the cornfield. And he's jumpy, because he thinks it's the dog. You know, he has nightmares," Johns explained.  

"I've like had to change stuff in my life. Like, in the morning I have to get drove down the driveway," Alexander said.   

Share this article: