'It does not feel fair': Woman bitten by Saskatoon police dog says victims deserve compensation
2 Regina men bitten in recent incidents; court ruled woman couldn't sue police after she was bitten in 2013
A Saskatoon woman says her heart sank when she learned two innocent bystanders were bitten by Regina police dogs in separate incidents this month.
"It has teeth that are so sharp, and that is vicious," said Sheila Tataquason, who has spent the past four years fighting for compensation after she was bitten by a Saskatoon police dog.
"I can feel their pain and I feel the sadness that they're probably going through."
Both men told CBC they were outside smoking on their respective porch steps when the police dogs bit them.
Neither man was a suspect in any police investigation.
No compensation for 'regrettable' injuries
Tataquason was bitten by a police dog on Aug. 16, 2013. At the time, she and a friend were sitting in Tataquason's backyard smoking when a police dog burst into the yard, sinking its teeth into her stomach and left hip.
She had to go to the hospital to get three stitches. She also said she was taken into police custody for 6½ hours before being released.
Tataquason tried to sue the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners and three police officers. Last year, a civil court judge called her injuries "regrettable and unfortunate," but said she could not sue for damages.
The judge cited section 10 of Saskatchewan's Police Act, which grants police officers and other municipal employees immunity from civil litigation if they are carrying out their duties in good faith.
"It's a shame that our law enforcement is not taking accountability or responsibility for their actions," said Tataquason. "It does not feel fair to innocent people."
Hopes Regina men will also fight for compensation
She plans to file an appeal in her case on July 26, and hopes both the Regina men who were bitten will join her in her fight for compensation.
"I think people should be compensated, whether it's injuries or police misconduct against a person — compensated with cash."
Tataquason said she does not recall police ever apologizing to her, for what happened.
"We citizens of Canada need to open our eyes and take a look at what's going on in our police forces here in Saskatchewan," said Tataquason.
"I hope we can do better."