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Abuse and neglect… We’re a full service city

This is a rebroadcast of the story as it appeared on October 8, 2008 17:22:23 GMT

Police went to the home of a South Baltimore man to seize his dog, under the impression it was being mistreated. Instead, they arrested and jailed the man when he protested, leading the dog to spend four days unattended.

Lance W. Martin, a self-employed plumber has filed a federal lawsuit against three city police officers — saying the encounter with police left him bruised, battered and jailed, and his dog neglected.

According to a story about the lawsuit in the Maryland Daily Record, the trouble began on a January morning last year when Martin put his white, pit bull type dog in his work van, as he did every morning, and went inside to gather some paperwork. Martin lives alone with the dog and brings her to jobs, leaving her in a van that has a bed, fan and water for the dog, according to the suit.

Police and an animal control officer knocked on his door, and accused him of abandoning his dog, saying said they planned to take it to the pound.

Martin, 52, objected and led the dog back into his home, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. One of the officers claimed Martin brushed against her and shut the door on her hand when he entered the house.

That officer called for back-up, and a second officer pulled Martin out of his doorway and threw him on the porch,” according to the suit. Two officers then kicked Mills, the suit states, handcuffed him and threw him off his porch, over a fence and onto the sidewalk. A third officer kicked him at that point, the suit says.

Anton L. Iamele, Martin’s attorney, said Martin suffered “lacerations and a couple boot marks to the face.”

Martin came up with bail after four days in jail and returned home to his dog. Prosecutors eventually dropped all charges — assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest — against Martin.

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