WILKES-BARRE — After about three hours of deliberation, a jury decided that a homeless man who was bitten by a police dog during his arrest was not guilty.
Joshua Jade Fought, 44, was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest on Wednesday after a trial before Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas.
Police attempted to arrest Fought last July on Public Square. During the arrest, Fought suffered a bite on the hip by a city K-9 and was taken to a local hospital. The arrest was captured on video and went viral, amassing more than 18,000 views at the time of the arrest.
Fought was initially charged with public drunkenness, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but the drunkenness count was eventually withdrawn by prosecutors.
Fought maintained he did nothing to provoke the attack from the K-9.
“(The officer) then released the dog on me,” Fought wrote in a social media post. “I had never even left the spot I was sitting in, let alone ‘resist arrest.’ The K9 preceded to thrash my lower back while on my side for what felt like 5 minutes straight, maybe more or less. The only thing I remember during the attack (besides the pain), is towards the end, the officer ordering me ‘get on your stomach,’ which I physically couldn’t do.”
When Fought was acquitted for the count of resisting arrest, Judge Lupas granted a defense motion to withdraw the charge of disorderly conduct. Fought was released after proceedings.
A series of bites by police K9 Chase, the third and final one on an officer during an arrest, led Mayor Tony George in January to take the dog out of service for public safety reasons.
Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan