An Auckland police constable had to pepper-spray a pitbull that was attacking the teenage boy out walking it at the weekend.
Constable Ben Klinkenberg was called to a North Shore park on Saturday after witnesses heard screams from a 17-year-old walking his father's pitbull.
The dog latched on to and tore Mr Klinkenberg's protective vest and the 28-year-old needed stitches in his punctured arm.
The officer and teenager were taken to hospital and police said the young man would need plastic surgery.
The constable's commanding officer, Superintendent Bill Searle, told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Monday the use of pepper spray allowed the young man to escape.
Mr Searle said once the dog was sprayed, it turned on the officer and attacked him. He said the pitbull had been attacking the boy for up to 15 minutes.