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Police investigate after officer seen on camera punching K-9 partner

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    VACAVILLE, California (KCRA) — Vacaville police say they are investigating after an officer was caught on camera punching his K-9 partner.

Roberto Palomino says he pulled out his phone after hearing a dog in distress Monday in the area of Vaca Valley Parkway and Eubanks Court.

“I heard a dog crying, and it kind of concerned me. It sounded really bad, like in pain kind of dog,” Palomino said.

That’s when he said he saw the officer straddling his K-9 partner and then punching the dog in the face.

“I pulled out my phone and started recording,” he said.

Palomino says the officer appeared to be looking for anyone who may have been watching him.

“He punched several times, who knows, up to 10 times, something around that,” he said.

Vacaville police Capt. Matt Lydon says the officer and K-9 are in training, and that the video doesn’t show what led up to this incident. Authorities say the K-9 had just found so-called drugs as part of a training exercise but wouldn’t give up the toy reward.

“This angered the dog, and the dog reacted to this. The dog lunged at the handler and attempted to bite the (officer),” Lydon said.

Lydon says what the officer did was intended to make clear to the dog that what it did was not OK.

“It’s important in K-9 training that the handler take swift action to correct the dog’s behavior,” Lydon said.

But Palomino questions whether this training went too far.

“If this is some type of training, it’s gotta stop,” he said. “That cannot be acceptable.”

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