A jury on Tuesday acquitted a Michigan State Police trooper charged with assault for allowing his canine partner to bite a man during an arrest nearly three years ago in Lansing.
Authorities claimed Trooper Parker Surbrook used his dog as a dangerous weapon against a man who led officers on a high-speed chase and crashed his vehicle into a tree in November 2020, leaving the suspect lying on the ground with a broken hip and no ability to flee.
But a jury found him not guilty of felonious assault after deliberating for about 2½ hours following a three-day trial, the Lansing State Journal reports.
Prosecutors contended Surbrook let his dog, Knox, engage on Robert Gilliam for nearly four minutes, even though Gilliam was clearly surrendering and was unable to flee.
Surbrook's attorney, Patrick O'Keefe, said Surbrook followed his training in leaving the dog on the suspect until backup officers arrived to help. He said the trooper acted reasonably during "a highly stressful, potentially lethal situation" in which backup officers took an unusually long time to find the scene.