A DAD claims he was attacked by a police dog as he walked home from a night out leaving him with deep wounds on his arm and leg.
Craig Cooper says he was returning from a night out with a friend when he was bitten by the dog that had been deployed following reports of fighting nearby.
The 37-year-old has been left with painful wounds from the attack and has had to take time off work as a landscape gardener while he recovers.
"I was just walking home when I felt something on me. I thought I was being stabbed because I didn't have a clue what was happening," said Craig, of Willow Crescent, Leigh.
"It let go of my arm and latched on to my leg and that's when I realised it was a dog and started to panic. I was on the ground and couldn't hear or see anything so I thought it must be a stray. I just thought who is going to get this dog off me'.
"A police officer came over but I have no idea where from. He got the dog off me and went over to another police officer and told him it had just nipped me.
"He called an ambulance and just said 'wrong person, wrong place, wrong time' to me."
Craig believes the dog and its handler were out looking for a man in relation to an assault and they had chased the offender across the fields behind his street. He says he was later told that the man they were looking for had been wearing shorts while Craig was in jeans.
"I'm still in shock. Only the week before we were walking home from a party with my little lad out in front. If it had been the week before he wouldn't have stood a chance," said the dad-of-four.
"I've had to take a week off work because even though my arm isn't too bad my leg is and can't really bend up and down.
"I've got two wounds on my leg that they couldn't glue or stitch up so they are just open. They will heal but at the moment they are very painful and they keep bleeding.
"Even so I had to go back to work because I can't afford not to."
Craig has lodged a formal complaint with the police and is hoping he will receive some sort of compensation for his loss of earnings.
A police spokesman said: "At around 1.30am on August 3, police were responding to reports of fighting at Westleigh Lane in Leigh.
"This was treated as a grade one incident and officers were immediately deployed to the area. A short time later a handler and their dog was deployed in the area around Willow Crescent.
"A man was bitten by the police dog on Willow Crescent. He sustained injuries to his arm and leg.
"The handler immediately called for an ambulance and the man was taken to hospital where he received treatment to scratches on his arm and puncture wounds on his thigh."