Two graffiti artists claim deputies instructed their K9 partner to eat at the artists' limbs during their arrests.
According to WPLG, Humberto Pellegrino and Pedro Claveria were with two friends when they illegally entered a Pompano Beach, Florida train yard at around 2 am.
They intended to paint train cars but as soon as they took out their spray paints, a series of deputies and a helicopter zeroed in. The men allegedly hid under a train, only to emerge as soon as they heard orders to come out.
Pellegrino told WPLG,
We complied, we never tried to run, we never ran an inch from where we were at.
However, according to the deputies, Pellegrino and Claveria did not listen to their instructions, Raw Story reports.
Claveria also said one deputy ordered a dog to bite him while another held a rifle to his head.
Recounting the pain, he said,
It was him ripping into me and gnawing. I've never had an animal attack me that way and it felt like it was never going to stop.
Furthermore, Pellegrino said he was lying face down with his arms out when the dog put deep gashes into his friend's arm. One of the deputies, however, reported Pellegrino was still not complying with the officers' orders at that time.
According to Pellegrino, a deputy picked up his leg and put it near the dog's mouth while a gun was pointed at his head.
Pellegrino was apparently screaming in pain, but he said two of deputies decided the dog should have a bite of his other leg, too.
I felt my leg tearing and they kept saying, 'Eat boy, eat boy.' Every time he would latch onto me, they would yank him, so not only was I being bit, but I was being torn.
The cruelty didn't stop when the artists were brought to the hospital, where cops allegedly took pictures of Pellegrino's injury and laughed about it.
Both men were hospitalized for several days and said they suffered losses of muscle tissue, as well as permanent nerve damage.
The men were charged with burglary and criminal mischief, but prosecutors reportedly dropped those felonies, leaving trespassing as the only charge.
The two men were still made to pay court costs after pleading guilty.
Pellegrino and Claveria are suing Sheriff Scott Israel and three of the deputies for excessive force.
Possibly bolstering their case is the fact the deputy they called the "ringleader" of the assault was previously charged with ordering a K9 attack and then lying about it afterward.
That deputy, who starred on "Unleashed: K-9 Broward County," was apparently acquitted in 2013.