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Man bites K-9 officer at LAX

April 18, 2010 |  2:45 pm
A transient faced felony battery charges Sunday afternoon after he allegedly bit a Los Angeles Airport police officer and injured one of his colleagues, authorities said.

The name of the man was not immediately released, but LAX police officials said the incident took place about 11:15 a.m. Sunday on the upper level of the airport, just outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Airport police officials said they received a report that a man had left an unattended bag in the terminal and was seen muttering to himself. When officers approached the man, he sprinted away while yelling unintelligibly. The officers caught up to him outside the terminal and when they tried to detain him, he bit a K-9 officer in the left forearm, officials said. A second officer received cuts and scratches.

The transient, who had been stopped at LAX previously, was taken into custody without further incident.

"With 50,000 airport employees and roughly 61 million passengers annually, LAX police face the same challenges and dangers as those in most municipal law enforcement agencies," said Marshall McClain, president of the union representing 425 police officers and firefighters at all Los Angeles city-run airports.

-- Andrew Blankstein