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Wrong man arrested with 'excessive force'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/06/2016

An Upper Hutt father was arrested with "excessive force", bitten by a police dog and taken to a cop car before police accepted they had the wrong man, a report says.

A Independent Police Conduct Authority report has found police unlawfully arrested the innocent man at his Upper Hutt home on January 23, 2015.

Two officers with a police dog went to the house looking for a man who had allegedly threatened his ex-partner and rammed her car.

The house belonged to the woman's parents, and her father opened the door.

Despite not matching the offender's description, police cuffed the man and led him down his driveway to a police car.

On the way the dog bit him without being commanded to do so.

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

The arrest was unlawful because the arresting sergeant did not have good reason to suspect the father had committed an offence, and had not taken basic steps to identify him.

Both officers used excessive and unlawful force to handcuff the man and take him away, the authority said.

The dog handler's conduct was also found to be inappropriate and he should have not placed his dog in a position where it could bite the man.

Police did not prosecute the arresting sergeant, and Sir David said in light of personal circumstances it was the right decision.

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