GRETNA, La., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A man says his civil rights were violated by a Gretna, La., police officer whose police dog bit into his groin area and virtually severed his penis.
Cody Melancon filed a lawsuit against the Gretna Police Department alleging the injury occurred when the officer loosed his dog onto Melancon without provocation, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Tuesday.
The attack left him sexually dysfunctional, Melancon's suit says.
"I don't have any sensation down there," Melancon said. "I can't get an erection. I'm 25 years of age."
The incident occurred May 30 when Gretna police went to Melancon's apartment to arrest him on charges of kicking in someone's front door and hitting an occupant, charges Melancon denies.
Melancon says he surrendered to officers and was kneeling on the floor of his living room when Gretna officer Joseph Mekdessie allegedly trumped up an altercation and let his dog Zin go at Melancon.
"He started saying, 'Stop fighting with my dog,' and he released the dog on me," Melancon said.
Melancon's lawsuit seeks $31 million for medical and other expenses and for punitive damages, the Times-Picayune said.