ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A former Alpharetta police officer accused of allowing his K-9 to viciously maul a man who was having a mental health crisis has been indicted on multiple charges.
Channel 2′s Mark Winne has learned that Michael Esposito was indicted by a Fulton County Grand Jury for violation of oath by public office, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
The victim, Travis Moya, was arrested in July 2021 of after family members called 911 to report he was having a mental health crisis.
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Graphic body camera video showed the moments a K-9 officer latched on to Moya’s arm and shoulder as police were trying to handcuff him.
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“I didn’t do nothing to you! Ow! Get this dog off of me sir!,” Moya screams in the disturbing footage.
Moya suffered severe bite wounds from the attack.
Police said Moya was arrested for resisting arrest. He was charged with felony obstruction of officers. The charges were later dropped.
“Mr. Moya was not physically combative or violent and he hadn’t committed a crime. He was attacked by the K-9 after he had already been subdued,” Moya’s lawyer, L. Chris Stewart, said.
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Alpharetta police initially found no violation of the police department’s policy on use of K-9s, but a Fulton County grand jury deemed otherwise, calling for Esposito’s indictment.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan talked to Moya and his lawyers Wednesday. Stewart said this is the first time in history that a K-9 officer is behind held accountable for using excessive force.
“This is a step in the right direction. I know that we have some more ways to go,” Moya said.
Moya told Regan that the attack left him with life-changing injuries and trauma.
“My arm is disfigured for the most part,” Moya said. “I have a hole in my arm and scars that go all the way down my back.”
Moya’s legal team has filed a lawsuit against the city saying he never should have been arrested nor subjected to the attack in the first place,
The city of Alpharetta wouldn’t comment on pending litigation.
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