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News Release

Thursday, August 17, 2000

Media Relations

LAPD Thanks Community For Compassion Towards Dakota and Officer

On Monday, August 14, 2000, at approximately 8:45 p.m., personnel assigned to Metropolitan Division were involved in the dispersal of a violent crowd at Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street. Officers from Metropolitan Division's Mounted Platoon were moving a crowd from the demonstration area when they were attacked by a barrage of rocks, golf balls, cement pieces, and other dangerous bottles. Police Officer III Kelli Shurian, Serial No. 27344 was riding police equine "Dakota". Both were struck by numerous objects including bottles. After striking Officer Shurian and Dakota, the bottles shattered resulting in two lacerations to the right rear leg of Dakota.

Dakota sustained a 1 ½" laceration and a second 1" laceration/puncture wound. The puncture wound bled profusely. Since the officers were under attack from the violent crowd Officer Shurian and Dakota continued their assigned duty to clear the crowd. At the conclusion of their mission, Dakota's wounds were examined and determined to be serious in nature. A pressure bandage was used to stem any further bleeding. An examination of the injury this morning, August 15, 2000, indicated that sutures would not be necessary to close the wound. Dakota has exhibited stiffness to the rear leg and is unable to be utilized by the Department at this point. An examination by a veterinarian will be conducted if further problems are observed.

**UPDATE**

The Los Angeles Police Department would like to extend its warmest appreciation to the people of Los Angeles for their show of compassion toward police equine, "Dakota" and his rider, Police Officer III Kelli Shurian. Dakota is doing very well and expected to enjoy a full recovery over the next few days, and return to duty.

If you have further questions regarding this matter, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.




For Release 10:00 pm PDT
August 17, 2000