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Truck driver attacked by police dog speaks out for the first time: ‘I just didn’t want to lose my life’

Jadarrius Rose was mauled by a police dog on an Ohio highway after he appeared to surrender to police with his hands up earlier this month.
/ Source: TODAY

Jadarrius Rose, the 23-year-old truck driver who was attacked by a police dog after he appeared to have his hands up, spoke out about the incident for the first time.

"It was tough because I didn’t want to lose my life," Rose said in an exclusive interview with NBC News' Tom Llamas.

Ohio State Highway Patrol said troopers initially attempted a traffic stop on July 4 because Rose was driving a semi truck that was missing a left rear mud flap, according to the incident report.

Rose failed to stop for the inspection, and led police on a "lengthy pursuit" for about 30 minutes, according to the report.

Rose told Llamas it was fear that kept him from stopping his vehicle.

"Scared," Rose said, seated next to his mother during the interview.

A 911 call Rose's attorney indicated was from his client seemed to confirm his fears.

"I parked the truck and I was about to comply with them but they all had their guns drawn out for whatever reason," the caller said. "It seems like they’re trying to kill me."

Edited body camera footage released by Ohio State Police shows Rose exiting his truck with his hands up, appearing to surrender. A state trooper can be heard in the video warning a local police officer to not release his police dog.

"Do not release the dog with his hands up," the state trooper said.

Circleville Police Officer Ryan Speakman did deploy the dog, according to the footage, and appeared to command the dog to specifically attack Rose after the dog initially ran toward other authorities on the scene.

"I just kept hoping ... even though I seen it coming — I just knew that," Rose said of what he was thinking as the dog approached him. "I tried so hard."

A trooper shouted for officers to get the dog off of Rose, according to the body camera footage.

Later in the video, a trooper could be seen walking away with her hands over her mouth. In another moment, the trooper who called out to not unleash the dog asked, "Was I not loud enough?"

"You said three or four times," another officer answered.

Carla Jones, Rose's mother, told Llamas she can't watch the body camera footage.

"It’s very traumatic, as I can’t watch it. It's too hard," she said.

The Circleville Police Department fired Speakman on Wednesday, saying in a statement Speakman "did not meet the standards and expectations we hold for our police officers."

Speakman has not commented publicly about the incident or his firing, but the police union representing him has filed a grievance to overturn the termination.

Rose was tended to on the scene while handcuffed and then later treated at a local hospital for his injuries. He was charged with a felony count of failure to comply with order or signal of police officer, authorities said.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Rose, told NBC News Speakman's firing was a good start, but hinted there may be more legal action ahead.

"I certainly think (Speakman's firing) doesn’t remove the trauma and the physical injuries suffered by Jadarrius, who was on his knees putting his hands in the air, which is the universal sign of surrender," Crump said. "This is not 1960, this is 2023."