Port Orange K-9 bit woman during missing child search, deputies say

Child found unharmed, woman taken to hospital

Published On: Jul 18 2013 12:11:38 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 18 2013 05:26:34 PM EDT
PORT ORANGE, Fla. -

A woman is sent to the hospital after a Port Orange police K-9 bit her during the search for a missing 4-year-old boy on Wednesday night.

Police said they had the K-9, Rex,  searching for the boy at a home on Nasser Lane at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday near a retention pond.

Police said Rex became tangled in loose palm fronds and debris in the water and the officer lifted up the dog to untangle him when Rex's collar lead came off and Rex escaped.

While Rex was loose, June Dileo, 53, was walking around the back of her house and was bitten by the dog twice, police said.

Dileo was taken to the hospital, where she received 27 staples in her leg, stitches in her hip and abdomen, her family tells Local 6. Dileo's family said the dog pushed Dileo down with his head, latched onto her thigh and dragged her before biting her several more times.

The missing child was found unharmed inside the home tucked under the dining room table, according to the police report.

Dileo is speaking with an attorney Thursday afternoon, her family says.

One of the officers, Justin White has been employed with the Port Orange Police Department since July 31, 2006 and has been a K-9 officer since Jan. 4, 2010. Rex has been paired with White since 2010.

According to Port Orange Police, White has not been placed on any type of administrative leave and White and Rex are still working. The department says it is reviewing the incident.

Rex will be re-evaluated responding to commands, being "off lead." If the dog doesn't pass this evaluation, the dog will subsequently be taken out of service.