POLICE dogs left a Sheffield man needing emergency surgery after attacking him in the grounds of an old school.
Ricky Clarkson, aged 32, claims he was walking home through the former Seven Hills School site, Arbourthorne, when the incident happened.
He alleges a Rottweiler pulled him to the ground then two more dogs, including a German shepherd, joined in.
Police said the dogs were being exercised by an off duty officer who had permission to be in the grounds. A force spokesman said Mr Clarkson was hiding in bushes.
Mr Clarkson, an unemployed shop fitter and dad of six, claimed he was sitting smoking when he was mauled as he took a short cut home from a garage. He is calling for police dogs to only be exercised in designated areas to which the public has no access.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed the attack happened during a ‘training exercise’ but said it was land which should have been ‘off limits’ to the public.
Mr Clarkson, who spent three days in the Northern General Hospital undergoing an operation and recovering from his ordeal, said: “I was taking a regular short cut home many people take and the next thing I knew I was being dragged to the ground.
“They had both my arms and I was in agony. I couldn’t believe it when I realised they were police dogs and their handler got the animal off me. There was blood everywhere so he put me in his car and took me to hospital.
“What I am worried about is what if it had been a child the dogs attacked?
“The police need somewhere secure to exercise dogs so this doesn’t happen again.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “A man received a dog bite in the early hours in the grounds of the closed Seven Hills School.
“The officer was exercising police dogs with the permission of the council. Police regularly use buildings no longer in use and off limits.”