MANSFIELD -- Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker suffered five broken ribs on Thursday while participating in a police K-9 "bite" demonstration.
The 66-year-old mayor was at the city's K-9 Training Facility, 2125 Lexington-Ontario Road, during a ceremony to thank Lowe's Home Improvement of Ontario for its donation of supplies and staff time to remodel many areas of the facility.
Safety Service Director Lori Cope said Friday that the mayor agreed to participate during one of the three K-9 demonstrations for the Lowe's employees and other city leaders.
"He has done it before (at a DARE ceremony) and so he felt comfortable doing it again," Cope said.
K-9 officer Jake Rietschlin and his partner, Mekel, also participated in the demonstration. After Theaker donned the "bite sleeve," Rietschlin released the dog and it grabbed into the sleeve. As the dog did its work, the mayor was dragged to the ground in an area that included a concrete sidewalk.
"He was taken to the (OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital) emergency room and learned he had five broken ribs in his back area," Cope said.
Cope said Theaker issued strong support for the police office and his K-9 partner.
"The mayor said the K-9 was demonstrating exactly what he was supposed to do. He feels even more comfortable now that the dog has demonstrated its ability to do what it gets 'paid' to do," Cope said.
Cope said the mayor also wanted to again thank Lowe's for its donations, which led to improvements of the K-9 facility's agility training course, main building and the shed.
Other demonstrations on Thursday include a K-9 running the agility course and another performing drug-sniffing exercises around two cars.
GALLERY: Mansfield Police Department K-9 unit thanks Lowe's Home Improvement
The Mansfield Police Department K-9 unit and city officials thanked Lowe's of Ontario on Thursday afternoon for their donated supplies and staff time to remodel many areas of the city's K-9 Training Facility, 2125 Lexington-Ontario Road. Included were improvements to the agility training course, main building and the shed. "It is contributions like this that embodies community commitment and helps provide the needed tools necessary for our K-9 officers and their partners to effectively perform at an optimal level," police Chief Keith Porch said. Three MPD K-9 officers -- Ferrow, Mekel and Denise -- then provided demonstrations, including a bite demonstration with Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker.