Town officials released video footage late Wednesday that shows a York Police Department officer using a K-9 to subdue local pediatrician Stephen Brennan during a traffic stop more than two years ago.
The release of the footage comes about a week after Brennan’s attorneys announced their client had reached a $325,000 settlement agreement with the town and Patrolman Jonathan Rogers, who had released the dog during the encounter on Sept. 20, 2019.
In a joint statement released with the footage, York Town Manager Steve Burns and Acting Police Chief Owen Davis said Rogers “simply did his job to keep York a safe place.”
Brennan was 63 at the time of the incident and ran Yorkids Pediatrics. Brennan suffered multiple injuries, including dog bites that his attorneys said required months of follow-up and wound care.
What dash-cam reveals
The 21-minute video, which was released in response to a public records request from Seacoast Media Group, includes audio and dashboard camera video. There was no body-worn camera used during the encounter, Burns said.
Rogers pulled over Brennan for allegedly flashing his high beams. The video shows Brennan stepped out of his vehicle before Rogers’ cruiser had fully stopped.
As Brennan walked toward the police cruiser, Rogers shouted at him to put his hands up. Brennan complied at first, but he continued walking while Rogers yelled three times for him to stop.
Brennan stopped for a moment with his hands raised, then he dropped them and turned back toward his own vehicle. Rogers left his cruiser and approached Brennan, telling him to stop moving. Rogers had his gun drawn and pointed at Brennan.
Brennan turned again toward Rogers, who repeatedly warned that he would sic the K-9 on him if he did not turn around and comply.
Dashboard camera footage released by the Town of York shows York Police Department Patrolman Jonathan Rogers using a K-9 to subdue pediatrician Stephen Brennan during a traffic stop on Sept. 20, 2019. The footage was released publicly Jan. 12, 2022, in response to a public records request. The video shows Brennan was on his knees before the K-9 made contact with him.
After Rogers told Brennan six times to get on the ground, Brennan dropped to his knees. Rogers told Brennan to get on the ground one more time as the K-9 ran toward Brennan and knocked him to the ground.
No more than 40 seconds elapsed between when Rogers’ patrol car came to a stop on scene and when his K-9 can be seen in the video running at Brennan.
While Brennan was on the ground with the police dog on top of him, Rogers told him to get on the ground again and put his hands behind his back. Brennan rolled onto his stomach as the dog appeared to continue biting down on his leg. At the same time, Rogers told Brennan to stop resisting.
Rogers was on the ground atop Brennan while the K-9 continued subdue him. Rogers eventually pulled the dog off of Brennan, who remained on the ground with his hands behind his back.
The K-9’s engagement with Brennan lasted about 80 seconds.