Police dog 'lucky to be alive' after being stabbed in head five times during knife attack

1 June 2021, 18:42 | Updated: 1 June 2021, 19:08

Police dog Kaiser is facing weeks off work after being stabbed multiple times
Police dog Kaiser is facing weeks off work after being stabbed multiple times. Picture: Metropolitan Police
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A police dog "is lucky to be alive" after he was stabbed in the head five times and once below the eye during a knife attack in south London.

Kaiser is now facing weeks off work after being badly injured during the attack at around 11pm on Sunday, police said.

The dog was on patrol with his handler, Pc Mark Woolcott, when they were called to a report of an intruder in someone's back garden on Luxted Road, Orpington.

Upon arrival, the team of officers sent to the house to search the area found a man down a track behind the property.

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While attempting to subdue the attacker, Kaiser was stabbed multiple times on top of his head and once below his eye, the Metropolitan Police said.

However, he was still strong enough to keep control of the man for long enough to enable officers to restrain him.

The courageous canine was rushed to the vets where his injuries were assessed.

Fortunately, the blows to the top of his head struck bone, preventing any lasting injury or worse.

Kaiser was stitched up and kept in overnight for observation but is expected to make a full recovery.

One officer sustained a broken wrist as a result of the struggle that followed the attack on the dog. He is expected to be off work for up to a month.

The attacker, 43 and with mental health issues, had left his house in Biggin Hill earlier that same evening armed with a large kitchen knife. Police believe he also used a golf club to smash the window of a car earlier that day before disappearing into nearby fields.

His family had alerted police to his disappearance and a search was carried out but he was not immediately found.

Following the attack, the man was detained under the Mental Health Act. He is now receiving treatment at an appropriate facility, police said.

Superintendent Emma Richards, from the Met's Taskforce, which includes the Dog Support Unit, said: “I want to pay tribute to Kaiser and PC Woolcott for the immense bravery they showed in tackling this armed man. Kaiser was stabbed multiple times in the head and is lucky to be alive.

“My thoughts are also with the officer who sustained a broken wrist. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on duty as soon as he is able.

“We should recognise that the man responsible for this attack was suffering from a mental health crisis. He is getting the care he needs now and a decision will be taken in due course as to whether it would be appropriate for any criminal charges to follow.

“Incidents where mental health is a significant factor can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous. They make up an increasing proportion of the calls our officers respond to and present a unique set of challenges."