Man files claim against the city after he was bitten by a police dog

Alex Furrier

Daily Post Staff Writer

A man who was bitten by a police dog has filed a claim against the city of Palo Alto saying that he was left with “serious and lasting” injuries.

Alexander Furrier, 26, of Palo Alto, was bit in a stairwell at 460 Everett Ave. on Oct. 10, after he allegedly attacked a gay man in his 60s while yelling homophobic slurs.

Furrier was on the run from police, and officers said he ran up the stairwell and wouldn’t surrender.

Agent Nick Enberg sent his dog, Balko, to bite Furrier while officers handcuffed him.

Furrier said officers didn’t try to get him to comply before using the police dog. He said he wasn’t threatening any violence and clearly had no weapons, because he wasn’t wearing a shirt.

“Officers cornered me in a stairwell and shouted at me while a police dog barked at me,” Furrier said in his claim. “I was confused and frightened by such a show of force.”

The dog took Furrier to the ground and bit him repeatedly on the leg “for longer than was reasonable or necessary,” according to the claim. Furrier was taken to the hospital after the bite.

Furrier is asking the city to pay him $5 million for his injuries and emotional distress.

“The brutality of this experience is something I may never get over,” he said.

If the city rejects Furrier’s claim, then that opens the door for a lawsuit.

The claim names six officers: Enberg, Khalil Tannous, Ryan Joy, Jason Solis, Brian Connelly, Dan Irwin and Dominic Inn.

Palo Alto’s independent police auditor, Mike Gennaco, will review the evidence, make findings and give recommendations in a written report to City Council.

Furrier was following two gay men and a woman in downtown Palo Alto around 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning, according to police.

One of the men confronted Furrier for making rude comments to the woman, and Furrier started punching the man, leaving him unconscious with cuts to the back of the head, police said.

Furrier also allegedly hit the woman too, but she wasn’t injured.

According to police, Furrier was warned that a dog was coming up the stairwell, and then he kicked the dog in the head and tried to choke the dog between his legs.

The dog was left with an injured paw and a cut above one eye and was taken to the veterinarian, police said.
Furrier claims he didn’t assault the dog.

Balko has retired since the incident, leaving Palo Alto without a police dog. Under the new leadership of Chief Andrew Binder, the department is looking to bring on new dogs and handlers in the coming months.
This is at least the third major claim against the city relating to police dog bites. The previous two claims both resulted in a lawsuit, and then a settlement.

In a case of mistaken identity, Enberg ordered his dog to bite a man who was innocently sleeping in his backyard on June 25, 2020, while police were searching for a kidnapper in Mountain View. The victim, Joel Alejo, received a $135,000 settlement from the city in January.

And on April 7, 2016, a black Palo Alto High School senior was mauled by a police dog at a street corner when officers were responding to a report of someone with a BB gun.

Police officers said they didn’t intend to release the dog, but the dog had jumped out of the window. The victim, Tajae Murray, received a $250,000 settlement in April 2018.


  1. Wow. Wealthy privileged kid, now armed with dad’s lawyers and making disingenuous statements, who will likely not do any good for the world during his lifetime. He has no remorse, no shame at all. How do we get rid of him before his next victim. Just absolutely disgusting all around.

  2. He doesn’t deserve a dime. If you don’t want to be bitten, don’t run from the police. I’m tired of suspects resisting arrest and cashing in, to the detriment of the taxpayers.

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