Critical incident investigation underway after man seriously injured by police dog

A critical incident investigation has been launched after a man was seriously injured after being bitten by a police dog during a police operation on the Central Coast overnight.

On Friday (15 April 2022), a 27-year-old man was reported missing to officers attached to Tuggerah Lakes Police District, who commenced inquiries to locate him.

Just before 6pm last night (Saturday 16 April 2022), police received calls regarding the welfare of a man seen by motorists running in the southbound lanes of the M1 near the Sparks Road off-ramp at Bushells Ridge.

Police were told the mirror of a Ford Ranger utility struck the man when the driver swerved to avoid him. The driver, a 59-year-old man, stopped and notified police before the man ran into thick bushland nearby.

Officers attached to Tuggerah Lakes Police District responded and with the assistance of Traffic and Highway Patrol, PolAir and the Dog Unit, established a perimeter and attempted to locate the man.

An officer attached to the Dog Unit located the man in bushland about 10pm and during a violent struggle the police dog has bitten the man, causing severe injuries to his legs.

The officer rendered first aid before further police attended to assist, locating the officer and 27-year-old man in dense bushland.

The injured man was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics and taken to John Hunter Hospital under police guard. He is reported to be in a critical condition.

The officer – a male sergeant – sustained minor injuries to his face and was taken to Wyong Hospital for treatment. He has since been released.

A crime scene was established with a critical incident team from Brisbane Water Police District investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

That investigation will be subject to an independent review.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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