Woman bitten by K9 dog demands help with medical bills

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A Centennial woman bitten by an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s dog has demanded the department pay her medical bills.

The department acknowledged that the dog escaped from the deputy’s car, but has denied the woman’s medical claim.

On Nov. 11, 2013, Alexis Albanese and her boyfriend John Herreman said they had just gotten out of a friend’s car to check-in to the Extended Stay America off Interstate 25 and Arapahoe Road. That friend pulled into a handicapped spot to drop them off, which possibly caught the deputy’s attention. He pulled in behind them and got out. That’s when his dog escaped from his patrol car.

Albanese’s boyfriend saw the whole thing.

"She’s right behind me, I hear her scream and I turn around and there's a dog hanging from her arm,” Herreman said.

The couple said the deputy called off his dog and got it to release its grip and apologized to Albanese.

“I was in shock, my adrenaline was going,” she said.

The deputy then called an ambulance.

"It was cold out, so I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt and a winter jacket over it, so the dog had to get through all those layers,” Albanese said.

She didn’t have medical insurance at the time.

Months later, she said her medical bills are mounting, about $15,000, from both the bite and subsequent infection.

“It was swelled up so big it looked like I had a golf ball underneath my skin,” she said. “It broke the stitch, that`s how bad it swelled up.”

But the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office denied her claim.

In a letter to her lawyer, the Assistant County Attorney wrote, “The report and records applicable to the incident demonstrate that the dog escaped from Deputy Cook’s patrol car without his knowledge and that Deputy Cook quickly regained control over the dog once he became aware of the situation. Unfortunately, the dog, Orry, bit Ms. Albanese before Deputy Cook was able to do this.”

Albanese said she doesn’t want anything to happen to the dog, but would like help with her medical bills and suggests that in the future “they need to learn to roll up their window.”

Channel 2 News reached out to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. As of close of business on Tuesday, we have not received a response.