A police officer is attempting to sue a local security firm, claiming she was bitten by one of its dogs amid chaotic scenes as a group of Cubans tried to escape from the Immigration Detention Center.

Marcia Marie Ellis has filed a lawsuit against The Security Centre, which at the time of the attempted escape in May 2014 had a security contract at the detention facility.

In her writ filed with the Grand Court last month, the officer says she was seconded to assist at the detention center in an effort to help prevent 43 Cuban refugees from escaping.

She described how police, prison officers and The Security Centre staff, including K-9 units, had tried to contain the situation as several migrants attempted to scale the fences. She said some had escaped into the bushes, while others were forcing a chain link gate to the ground and escaping through the main entrance. As the officers and security staff tried to contain the situation, she claims she was bitten by one of the security dogs.

According to the writ, “She felt an excruciating pain and an awful burning sensation on her lower left arm. When she turned and looked at her arm, she saw that she had three puncture wounds and that the defendant’s K-9 officer and his dog were going past her as if nothing had happened.” She was treated at the Cayman Islands Hospital, the writ states.

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The court documents state that Ms. Ellis, 49, was a police constable at the time of the incident, though it does not clarify whether she is still employed by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

She is claiming damages for negligence on the part of The Security Centre for not restraining the dog properly and for failing to control the dog to prevent it from biting her.

The writ claims she suffered shock as well as physical injuries as a result of the incident.

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