Settlement reached in Punta Gorda K9 attack

Reporter: Lois Thome
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The city of Punta Gorda is settling a lawsuit regarding a Punta Gorda police officer who has been accused of shooting a woman in a citizen’s police training class.

The city of Punta Gorda paid $70,000 to Richard Schumacher, who was critically injured last year after Officer Lee Coel unleashed his police dog on him.

Police reports show Coel tried to stop Schumacher for riding his bike without a light. Instead of complying, Schumacher began to pedal faster and turned down several roads before stopping in the driveway of a home.

Coel then unleashed his dog on Schumacher, who tore into him for nearly two minutes.

Ultimately, Schumacher was transported to the hospital, where he stayed for 11 days after undergoing surgery.

Schumacher’s medical bills reached $130,000, most of which were paid by Lee Health.

The city hired an outside expert to review the incident and determined the use of force was justified due to Schumacher’s repeated non-compliance.

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