A police officer who was savagely attacked by a pitbull while on duty yesterday says he went into survival mode while the dog chewed at his body.

Senior Constable Chris Barclay, 56, told NZME. News Service he was called to the Foxton Winz office yesterday following an incident involving a man.

When he arrived, a man started making "commentary" towards him and got out of his vehicle with a dog.

"At that stage I was aware that things were not going to go well, just because of his demeanour and stuff."


Mr Barclay said the next thing he knew, he ended up on the ground.

"It was basically him on top of me and the dog chewing me around my body, head and backside. I got bitten on the face, the scalp and the buttocks.

"I was unable to do anything. I was just basically pinned to the ground. I was just trying to cover my face because I got bitten just above the eye. So basically it was down to survival mode."

He said although the attack was over in a "heartbeat" it seemed like much longer.

"I remember at some stage he got off me, I stood up ... there were people from the street offering assistance, but really from my point of view all I wanted to do was get the blood off my face."

Mr Barclay said despite his injuries, he was feeling fine today and insisted the incident had not left him shaken.

"I've been in the job for 27 years ... it's unacceptable at the best of times, but it's part of the day to day stuff that you can face."

Senior Constable Chris Barclay was unable to prevent the dog from biting him on the side of the face. Photo / supplied
Senior Constable Chris Barclay was unable to prevent the dog from biting him on the side of the face. Photo / supplied

Mr Barclay said his daughter and wife had been worried, but he had been well supported by the Police Association, his colleagues and the community.


"Physically I'm fine, I've been bitten, but I'm not missing limbs, I have not been stabbed or seriously hurt, or knocked unconscious.

"It's an easy recoverable situation -- if it had been a different outcome it might've been a different story. You never know which way it can go."

Meanwhile, a man charged with alleged assault and setting his dog upon a police officer has appeared in court.

Justin Taylor, 40, a seasonal worker, appeared in the dock in the Palmerston North District Court this afternoon with his arm in a sling.

Taylor is facing five charges, including causing grievous bodily harm to an officer, failing to stop for police and wounding with intent.

He was remanded in custody without plea to reappear next week.


A Wellington officer was also allegedly assaulted while on duty yesterday. The officer was struck several times in the head with a bottle of alcohol, and suffered from cuts requiring stitches.

An 18-year-old appeared in Wellington District Court this morning, following the attack.

Police alleged the teen robbed a man of two cell phones in Manners Mall, and then smashed a glass gin bottle over the head of the officer as he tried to arrest him.

He was denied bail and is back in court on Thursday.