Tahlequah Daily Press

January 28, 2014

Cherokee Nation Marshal Service dog bites motorist during traffic stop

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Officials at the Cherokee Nation are investigating after a canine from the marshal service bit a motorist last Thursday.

According to a statement released by tribal officials, a 30-year-old woman was bitten on the face during a “routine traffic stop” near Kenwood around 8 p.m. Thursday.

Amanda Clinton, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation, said the unidentified woman was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa for treatment.

“The No. 1 goal of the Marshal Service is to protect our citizens and ensure their safety, and we are dedicated to that mission,” Marshal Service Director Shannon Buhl said in a prepared statement. “We want our citizens to know that this incident is being fully investigated and the appropriate course of action will be taken.”

Clinton said a report on the incident has been finalized and sent to Todd Hembree, attorney general for the Cherokee Nation.

“Following a routine traffic stop, the marshal canine detected a positive hit for narcotics on the vehicle,” Clinton said Monday. “The attorney general’s office has conducted a preliminary review of the report, and based on the evidence, the attorney general feels some narcotic-related charges are likely in the coming days.”

Clinton said the specific charges have not been determined, but that any filing of charges will be in tribal court.

“The Marshal Service alerted me immediately after this incident had occurred and has cooperated fully and completely with my office throughout the investigation,” Hembree said in a prepared statement.

The canine involved in the incident remains out of service, tribal officials said.

Clinton said the tribe is keeping the victim of the dog bite, and her family, in its thoughts and prayers.