ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35)
Authorities have concluded that a 22-year-old central Florida jail inmate died because of infections resulting from police dog bites received during an August arrest. An autopsy report released Wednesday says Max Gracia, an armed robbery suspect, was bitten by a city of Orlando police dog while resisting arrest on Aug. 6. He received multiple bite injuries to the left thigh and leg.
The report says the bites caused infection, leading to septic shock, which can cause multiple organ failure. A potentially deadly bacteria (Escherichia coli) was found in Gracia's lungs and wounds. Gracia was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for medical care and then released to the jail. The report goes on to state that Gracia complained of being weak and dizzy on August 9, and he could no get up from his bed to get his medication. He was found dead in his cell in the early morning hours of August 10.
The Orlando Police Department released a statement which read, in part, "... The Department is conducting an internal investigation since the K-9 bite is listed as a contributing factor in Gracia's death." The Orange County Corrections Department also responded in a statement which read, "Since the launch of the internal review process, one registered nurse has resigned, while two other healthcare professionals remain under administrative review."
The Orange County Sheriff's Office is the leading the investigation into the man's death.