Sioux Falls, SD – A woman who was choked and brutally beaten during a domestic violence incident defended the officers and police K9 who came to her rescue, amid allegations that they used excessive force during her attacker’s arrest (video below).
“Let me make this loud and clear,” the victim, Brooke Michele, said in a Facebook post on Saturday. “These officers and K-9 Spike saved my life. He would have came back, found me and killed me. I am forever thankful - words cannot express my gratefulness.”
Her alleged attacker, 27-year-old Dylan Keith Ites, has been charged with fleeing from police, resisting arrest, interference with emergency communications, and aggravated assault domestic in connection with the May 3 assault, according to the Argus Leader.
Brooke said that she previously had a no contact order against Ites, her former boyfriend, due to another assault that took place in November of 2018, according to her Facebook post.
“He attempted to run me off the road while smashing my face into my steering wheel,” she said of that incident. “This past Monday [4/29/19] his PREVIOUS no contact order was dropped. He didn’t make it even ONE WEEK without assaulting me again.”
Brooke said she was at home with her children when Ites showed up on May 3, KELO reported.
She agreed to speak with him in her garage, but he became upset when she told him that their relationship was over, she said.
“He just kind of got this blank stare and looked at me and said, 'If you aren't a part of the plan and if I can't have you, then no one can and so I'm going to have to kill you,” Brooke told the news outlet. “And he says sorry while he's telling me that.”
Ites proceeded to choke her multiple times, she wrote in her Facebook post.
Brooke managed to 911 more than once, but he slammed her against the wall and the floor of the garage when he realized what she was doing, and hung up the phone, she said.
“He attempted to choke me and I squirmed and fought out of it. But it wasn’t enough - his strength overpowered me,” she wrote. “He dragged me across my garage floor by my hair and secured both of his hands around my neck with all of his strength…I though that was truly it for me.”
Brooke said she was alone and lying partially under a vehicle when she regained consciousness a few minutes later.
Her phone was gone, but she managed to run outside, where she was spotted by a construction worker.
Sioux Falls police and K9 Spike responded to the scene, and ended up in a 15-20 minute foot pursuit with Ites, the Argus Leader reported.
They ultimately cornered him in a window well outside a residence near Ellis Road and 26th Street.
A bystander’s cell phone footage showed the brief standoff between Ites and the officers.
“Get out, or you’re gonna get bit!” the officer warned him, as he held K9 Spike back.
Ites hoisted himself into a sitting position on the edge of the window well, but refused to follow any other commands, the video showed.
“[The officer] didn't know if the guy had any weapons on him, he didn't know if there were any weapons...in the window well," Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD) spokesperson Sam Clemens told the Argus Leader. "It was pretty obvious he wasn't going to listen to the commands that the officers were giving."
The officer advanced on Ites and kicked him away from the window well. K9 Spike then latched onto him as additional officers arrived to take him into custody, the video showed.
While some criticized the officers for using K9 Spike to help subdue Ites, Brooke praised them for quickly taking a dangerous suspect into custody.
“Those officers and that K-9 unit needed to secure an arrest as this man was and IS a very large danger to myself, the public and also to the officers,” she wrote in her Facebook post. “They did not know if he was armed or what he was capable of. They had no choice but to pursue this in an aggressive manner.”
The attack left Brooke with a concussion, multiple neck and skull contusions, bruises and scratches all over her body, a broken toe, an injured jaw, and neck strain, she said.
She also suffered hemoptysis, “the term for coughing up blood due to direct, prolonged physical injury and trauma to my airways,” she wrote.
Ites was transported to a local hospital, where he received stitches to close up the bite wound caused by K9 Spike, the Argus Leader reported.
K9 Spike's partner will not be placed on administrative leave while the internal investigation into the use-of-force incident is conducted, Clemens said.
"The K-9 did what it was supposed to do," Clemens added. "The guy had been given many instructions to lay down or he was going to be bit."
“Open up your eyes, society,” Brooke’s post read. “My life was on the line and he was not complying to law enforcement commands, interfered twice with my attempts to call 911 and he IS very much a danger to all. The dog bite he received is a crumb to this entire pie.”
You can watch cell phone footage of the officers’ encounter with Ites in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content: