Lawsuit: Woman taking out garbage attacked by St. Paul police dog searching for male suspect

A regular Saturday morning turned into a nightmare for a St. Paul woman as she took her garbage out and found herself being attacked by a police dog looking for a male burglary suspect, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Desiree Collins, 52, suffered multiple bites to her arm and a bite to her lower leg.

Right after it happened, Collins asked the officers, “What did I do?,” to which they replied, “Nothing,” according to her attorney, Andrew Noel.

“Part of the reason for the lawsuit is she says, ‘If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,’ ” Noel said. “She wants St. Paul to make the appropriate changes to makes sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Police apologized to Collins when she was in the hospital, said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.

“Officers were responding to a report of a burglary in progress,” he said. “They did not know she was in the area and they certainly did not intend for this to happen to her. We are sorry. We have reviewed the incident to see what we can do better next time and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

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