Police wrongly handcuffed and arrested an innocent man who was then bitten by a police dog, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found.

However neither officers would be prosecuted over the incident which happened in Upper Hutt on January 23 last year.

The innocent man was taken from his home by a police sergeant and dog handler who went to the property in search of another man who had threatened his ex-partner and rammed her car.

The woman was the daughter of the victim and he answered the door when police arrived.
He was immediately arrested and handcuffed by the sergeant although the officer did not match him to the description of the offender.


As the dog handler assisted the sergeant with escorting the father down the driveway, his police dog bit the man without being commanded to do so.

The officers then took the father to a nearby police car before accepting they had arrested the wrong person.

Authority chairman Judge Sir David Carruthers said the events of that day were "stressful and humiliating for the man, who was forcefully arrested in response to a criminal act for which he was not responsible".

The Authority concluded the arrest was unlawful, because the sergeant did not have good cause to suspect the father had committed an offence and neglected to take basic steps to identify the person he was arresting.

"As a result of this, both officers used excessive and unlawful force to handcuff the man and remove him from his property."

The Authority also found that the dog handler's conduct during the arrest was inappropriate, and that he should not have placed his dog in a position where it was able to bite the handcuffed man as the two officers were escorting him to the police car.

Police decided not to prosecute the sergeant who carried out the unlawful arrest while the Authority agreed not to prosecute the dog handler because of personal circumstances.