A police dog serving with a North Carolina police department had its ear bitten by a suspect when officers were serving a warrant, authorities said.
Maxx, 2, the rookie K-9 worth about $15,000 and considered a law enforcement agent under state law, had to be rushed to a veterinarian’s office Sunday and given more than a dozen stitches after a run in with a man who nearly bit the dog's ear in two, Lucy Crockett, the public information officer for the Wilmington Police Department, said.
"He’s a terrific dog," Crockett said. "And he was undaunted, even though he was being bitten, he did not let the suspect go."
Crockett said Maxx’s inexperience may have shown during the alleged assault. Even though he did not let up on the suspect, she said he probably didn’t return the level of force a more seasoned dog would have applied given the circumstances.
Police identified the suspect as Travis Glaspie, 22, who granted WECT.com a jailhouse interview.
"I ain’t never been bit by a dog or nothing, so I bit the dog on the ear," Glaspie said. Glaspie went on to say he believed he was mishandled by police during the arrest. He said a police officer punched him in the face and the dog was told “good boy” while he was biting the suspect.
Police say Glaspie was combative throughout the process of being arrested.
"I didn't even know the dog was behind me until I fell, and he was clamping down on me," Glaspie told the station. "So my first instinct was that I was terrified. I didn't know dogs could bite you like that.”
Wilmington Police Cpl. David Pellegrino, Maxx's partner, told the station that Glaspie “could have given up, but he didn’t."
"As far as someone trying to cannibalize a dog… I’ve never seen that before," Pellegrino said, the station reported.
Glaspie is in jail under $1.25 million bond and faces a number of charges, including felony assault on a law enforcement animal and resisting arrest.
Maxx, meanwhile, was in good spirits at a recent press event and is expected to return to duty after he recovers, Crockett said.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.