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K-9 attack: Judge rules against pregnant Indiana woman because she wasn't intended target

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 15:09:32-04

A judge in Indiana has rejected a lawsuit filed on behalf of an Indianapolis woman, ruling that a K-9 attack on the woman who was pregnant at the time did not violate her constitutional rights.

In 2015, Mara Mancini was attacked by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department K-9 named Scooter while the dog and his handler were in pursuit of a man who fled police on foot in her neighborhood. Per IndyStar.com, Mancini was seven months pregnant at the time, and suffered severe injuries to her arm and leg as a result of the K-9 attack.

According to the lawsuit, Mancini suffered irreparable nerve damage to her arm, and she took painkillers during the remainder of her pregnancy, which led to her son being born with an addiction to narcotics.

Mancini told IndyStar.com that the dog attacked her as soon as she stepped outside her home "and tore chunks of flesh from her arm and thigh." Mancini began having premature contractions that doctors were able to stop, but she underwent surgery weeks later to remove a "golf ball-sized infection in her leg," and she gave birth three days later, per the lawsuit.

"The undisputed evidence is that Mancini was not the intended object of the officers’ efforts to seize the fleeing suspect. [The officer's] release of Scooter, intending to seize the fleeing suspect does not mean that the officers intended to seize any other person," U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt wrote in her judgment on Sept. 28, per IndyStar.com.

Mancini's attorney said Mancini will probably have to declare bankruptcy in order to pay for her medical bills. Her attorney is still considering an appeal of the ruling, IndyStar.com reported.