A man is being investigated on suspicion of animal cruelty after repeatedly punching a police dog which assisted with his arrest.
Police were called at approximately 10.20pm on Tuesday, 28 August to reports of an assault in Coldharbour Lane, Hayes.
Officers arrived and spoke to the victim who said she was walking on the pavement, using her mobile phone when a man approached her from behind, hit her in the back of the head, and then jumped in front of her.
The suspect then punched the victim in her right arm, at which point she ran to a nearby property to call police.
The suspect ran in the opposite direction.
Police were later called at approximately 11.20pm on the same day to reports of an attempted robbery on a bus in North Hyde Road, Hayes.
The female victim said a man had repeatedly tried to take her phone from her hand on the bus, before getting off and running away.
The Met’s Dog Support Unit was called to help search the area and a male matching the suspect’s description was spotted in Almond Avenue, West Drayton.
Two officers from the Dog Support Unit and Police Dog Ernie chased and apprehended the suspect who struggled and repeatedly punched the dog.
The 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery, resisting arrest, common assault, and animal cruelty.
He was taken to a west London hospital for treatment to a bite injury received from the police dog. His injuries are not life-changing or life-threatening.
He was later taken to a west London police station and released under investigation.
Superintendent Emma Richards of the Met’s Taskforce said: “I am incredibly proud of the actions of the officers involved in this incident and Ernie who was injured by an individual intent on attempting to steal from and harm members of the public going about their daily lives.
“Violence against anyone – whether it is a member of the public, a police officer or police animal – is completely unacceptable and this should send a clear message that we will take such acts of violence seriously.
“The Met’s Dog Support Unit do an amazing job of protecting the public, apprehending offenders and taking dangerous weapons off the streets on a daily basis and this is just one example of their great work.”