A Southwest Philadelphia woman claims cops trying to subdue a neighbor’s unruly pit bull blasted their guns at the animal – and hit her.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in Common Pleas Court, Kristen Kelly said that at least one of the six bullets two officers fired at the dog on Aug. 5, 2012, hit her in the leg on her block on Etting Street near Reed.
Afterward, she underwent surgery, suffered postsurgical infection and still suffers from leg numbness and severe emotional distress, according to her complaint.
The dog was killed.
Kelly is seeking more than $50,000 in damages for negligence and assault/battery. The complaint names the officers, the city and the Police Department as defendants.
Her attorney, Kenneth Saffren, claims the officers used excessive force in responding to an animal incident and failed to call animal-control authorities or clear bystanders before drawing their guns.
Sgt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit comes amid federal scrutiny of the city’s police-involved shootings. Commissioner Charles Ramsey last spring asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the cases, which have soared in the past decade even as overall violence in the city has fallen.
Police-involved shootings also have led to a spike in lawsuit payouts, a recent Daily News examination found.
The city paid nearly $14 million last year to settle civil-rights claims, up from $4.2 million just four years earlier. Last year’s biggest payout, $2.5 million, was given to a man shot in the chest by a police officer investigating a false burglary report in the man’s home.
“We have been reviewing our policies and practices regarding officer-involved shooting,” Stanford said. “The department is committed to providing the best possible training for our officers to serve them and the public in the best possible manner.”