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Tag: suspect

Family dog tackles suspect fleeing police

As many times as we’ve reported on police, while responding to a call, shooting and killing a homeowner’s dog, it’s only right to share this story with you — and perhaps remind police that not every dog is their enemy.

This one, named Georgio, turned out to be an ally.

When two suspects trying to outrun Volusia Count sheriff’s deputies cut through a backyard, Georgio leaped up, chased them, and brought one down.

The homeowner, Mario Figueroa, said he was lighting his fire pit when the two men came running through his yard.

“I was standing right there and didn’t even see the gentlemen coming in from behind me,” he told News 6.

The tackle was captured on video from a Volusia County sheriff’s helicopter.

Deputies on foot caught up with and arrested two men, identified as Corey Williams and Deonte Broady.

The two-year-old rescue dog was tethered with a long leash when he brought down the suspect.

“The guys were on his territory and he took them down,” Figueroa said.

Deputies said the men were driving with a stolen tag. After the pursuit began, they ditched the car and were trying to escape on foot.

That’s when they made the mistake of entering Georgio’s yard.

“Yeah, he took him down like a professional police dog,” Figueroa said. “He’s pretty awesome. Georgio just took care of me. He’s a wonderful dog.”

Inspired by Michael Phelps and that shark, I arrange an inter-species race of my own

phelpsshark

Some of you might have caught Michael Phelps in his dramatic and courageous race with that great white shark, shown in a Discovery Channel special the other night.

It was yet another inspiring moment in the career of the Olympian, who is a close personal (Facebook) friend of mine.

So inspiring it was that it led me to challenge some creatures from another species to a fully legitimate, no trick photography, race of our own.

Since I write about animals, and am a pretty major celebrity myself, it seemed worth doing, or at least as worth doing as your typical Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, History Channel program.

And humans racing animals has a long and stupid history. Jesse Owens raced a horse. Several athletes have tried to outrun cheetahs. Others have gone up against dogs and ostriches.

True, I am not exactly at my athletic peak these days. I’m still getting over having a kidney removed and, as a result, I’m moving a little more slowly and with a little more discomfort than usual.

satireBut — being a competitive soul (like Mike) — I wasn’t about to let that stop me. I carefully researched and chose the creatures I would competing against.

To capture the contest on video, I hired someone to film it. Being a little strapped for funds, what with hospital bills and all, my videographer was actually a wino I found downtown who, once he got the camera pointed the right way, seemed up to the task.

Unfortunately, he framed the shots in such a way that I don’t appear in them as I glide down the asphalt at what is now my full speed. Don’t let that make you doubt the authenticity of all this though, for my journalistic ethics are every bit as solid as the Discovery Channel, or for that matter, the History Channel, or the Learning Channel.

To further uphold the integrity of the event, I arranged for four judges with unimpeachable reputations to oversee the race — Ryan Lochte, D.B. Cooper, Yeti and Amelia Earhart.

I won’t put off the suspense any longer, because I know you are all dying to see it. Here is the footage:

While the snail broke out to an early lead, the slug managed to stay right behind it, and I was right behind the slug, though out of the camera’s frame.

Eventually I passed the slug — you’ll just have to take my word for it — and pulled even with the snail. I had opened up a pretty good lead when, realizing one of my sneakers had come untied, I bent over to re-tie it.

Before I was able to get upright, I was swallowed whole by a giant anaconda. I thought escape would be impossible, as if I was in Al Capone’s vault. But, a few minutes later, I managed to reach up and tickle his throat until he coughed me up.

By the time I was able to get back on my feet — not without a few groans — both the snail and the slug were way in front of me, leaving trails of slime behind them that made getting my footing difficult.

I reached deep down inside, near where my kidney used to be, and summoned up the strength for a final burst. Sadly, as I caught up with them, the camera still didn’t have me in the frame.

Now I could have played with the video, and used CGI, so you’d see all three of us in the race, but how honest would that be?

Documentaries should be honest, after all — a straight recounting of the facts with no misrepresentations, deceptions, schmaltzy staged reenactments or trick photography.

I am nothing if not honest, and far be it from me to manufacture drama where none really exists, or to drag out any suspense.

Suffice to say the results of that historic race — John vs. slug vs. snail — left many with their jaws dropped, their hearts pounding and the realization that they had seen something truly special. Some say it will become a legend for the ages. The winner was …

Fade to commercial.

To purchase the CD of John’s race with the snail and the slug, moderated by Morgan Freeman, send $89.99 to Phake Newz Documentaries, 8999 N. 8999th St., NY, NY. Do so in the next hour and you’ll also receive the envelope it comes in.

Oh yeah, you’re wondering who won. The truth — trust me — is that I pulled out a come-from-behind victory that left the thousands, no make that tens of thousands, of spectators all on the edge of their seats, cheering wildly, including a recently paroled O.J. Simpson, a contingent of leprechauns and more than 100 members of my mermaid fan club.

(Photo representation at top from The Washington Post; video from YouTube, posted by M77174)

One very brave piece of “property”

mickNormally, we would call Mick, a Portland, Oregon, police dog killed in the line of duty this week, a hero.

Or maybe even a life-saver, which is how his partner, Officer Jeff Dorn, referred to him while recuperating in a hospital  from two gunshot wounds fired by the same burglary suspect who fatally gunned down Mick.

But according, at least, to an Oregon Court of Appeals decision — issued the very same day Mick died while trying to apprehend the fleeing, gun-firing suspect — Mick, being a dog, was merely “property.”

The court ruling wasn’t about Mick — instead it stemmed from an abuse case — but the timing and juxtaposition of the two stories serve to make a point that society, and lawmakers, and law enforcers, and courts, ought to start heeding.

Dogs aren’t toasters.

Mick joined the Portland Police Bureau K-9 Unit in March. After only a few days on the job, police, he captured three suspects within a 10-hour period. On Wednesday, he was with Dorn, chasing down a fleeing burglary suspect, when he was shot.

“Officer Dorn would like the community to know that ‘Mick saved my life,’ ” Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said in a press release.

“The dog was doing its job. He was out there protecting our community, and it’s tragic that we lost the dog,” said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese.

dornandmickAfter Mick’s body was recovered, a procession of police cars followed him to a veterinarian’s office, according to a report in Wednesday’s Oregonian, but it was too late.

On the same day Mick died, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling declaring — in line with what all the law books say — that dogs are “property.”

As such, the three-judge panel ruled, dogs can’t be seized and examined without a warrant, even if the purpose is to save a dog’s life.

The legal view of dogs as — above all else — property both degrades and endangers man’s best friend, and can make it difficult for animal-cruelty investigators to provide help to beaten, starved or neglected pets.

Changing that age-old view would require throwing away a lot of law books, and it would require judges to finally start showing half the backbone Mick did.

It’s time to make a legal distinction between inanimate “property” that has no soul, and “property” (if we must call them that) that does have a soul.

The Court of Appeals Wednesday did the opposite, throwing out the conviction of a 28-year-old woman who, based on evidence from a veterinarian who tested and treated the animal without a warrant, was found guilty of starving her dog, the Oregonian reported.

After an informant told the Oregon Humane Society that Amanda L. Newcomb was beating her dog and failing to properly feed it, an animal-cruelty investigator went to Newcomb’s apartment in December 2010 and saw the dog in the yard “in a near emaciated condition.”

Newcomb told the investigator she was out of dog food and that she was going to get some more, but the investigator  determined the dog likely needed medical care and brought the dog to a Humane Society vet for an examination.

That exam, according to the appeals court ruling, constituted unreasonable search and seizure of property — namely, Newcomb’s dog.

While the investigator had probable cause to seize the dog without a warrant, the court said, the “search” — i.e. medical exam — of the dog violated Newcomb’s privacy rights because the authorities hadn’t obtained a warrant.

The ruling effectively overturns her conviction on charges of second-degree animal neglect, and the original judge’s orders for her to serve one year of probation and not possess animals for five years.

It could also serve to hamper animal cruelty investigations across the state.

Maybe worst of all, it confirms the foolish concept that dogs — despite their heroics, despite their loyalty, despite their having character traits that we humans can only envy — are, first and foremost, property, a wrongful designation that legally, if not in reality, seems to trump all else.

Did burglar run over dog during getaway?

Police in Tampa are considering filing animal cruelty charges against a 23-year-old Tampa man accused of breaking into a home and apparently running over the owner’s dog during his getaway.

Jerome Lewter has been charged with three counts of burglary, three counts of grand theft and a probation violation. A police spokesman said Lewter, who denies running over the dog, may be charged with animal cruelty.

A 40-inch Sony television was stolen during the April 19 burglary. After the incident the homeowner’s Jack Russell terrier, named Jackie, was found dead in the driveway.

“It’s kind of a shock that something like that happened,” homeowner Bill Hand said this week. “You feel violated.” Hand said his father, John Hand, got Jackie five years ago as a puppy. The dog was his dad’s companion until John Hand died at the age of 92. He asked his son to take care of Jackie.

Bill Hand told the Tampa Tribune he hopes animal cruelty charges are filed.

“I’m looking forward to him getting his day in court,” Hand said.

(Photo: John Hand and Jackie)

Submerged suspect doesn’t buffalo dog

A police dog from Buffalo tracked down a shoplifting suspect in Canada — even though the alleged culprit was submerged in a swamp.

Thor, a two-year-old German shepherd, and his handler Lt. Sam Losi, were in Niagara-on-the- Lake to participate in training drills with the Niagara Regional Police canine unit.

Sgt. Jeff Hopkins, head of the Niagara canine unit, was conducting training when he received a call to assist in a search for a shoplifting suspect. With no other dogs at his immediate disposal, he invited Thor and his handler on the call.

They were told a man had been seen shoplifting from SportChek at Niagara Square, ran from security officers and had disappeared in a swampy area behind the mall.

Thor tracked the suspect’s scent from the mall to the swamp and jumped into the water. He came to a stop on what appeared to be a mound of debris in the water.

“We looked closer and saw what looked like a pant leg and a nose sticking out of the water,” Hopkins told the Niagara Falls Review. “He was totally submerged under water.”

A 45-year-old Niagara man was pulled from the swamp and is now being treated at a local hospital. No charges have yet been filed.

Dog leads cops to his hidden master

jackrussA German man on the run from police was arrested after his Jack Russell terrier gave away his hiding place, authorities said on Monday.

When police called at the 52-year-old man’s home near Cologne in western Germany on Friday, an acquaintance answered, holding the suspect’s dog.

“The man claimed not to know where the wanted man was. When he put the dog down, it proceeded with a wagging tail to a small cupboard… and stood expectantly in front of it,” police said.

Officers opened the door of the small cupboard and found the man they were seeking “hunched up inside,” according to AFP.

A police spokesman was not able to say what the man was wanted for, but that it was “not a capital crime.” He declined to give the man’s name,or that of his tell-tale dog.

Elevator surveillance nabs dog abuser

 

New York City police investigating the fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old came across an unrelated crime — a small dog being repeatedly kicked in an elevator at the Grant Houses.

The assault showed up on surveillance cameras being monitored by police, leading them to arrest Chris Grant, the Manhattan man seen in the video.

Grant, 21, is seen in the footage dragging a friend’s 12-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, named Chuvi-Duvi, into the Grant Houses elevator. He kicks the dog, pets it, then kicks it again.

On his way back up the elevator, after a trip to a nearby deli, the same scene plays out again.

Police say Chuvi-Duvi didn’t suffer any broken bones in last Saturday’s attack and is recovering at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.

Officers from the police department’s Viper unit watched the attack from a remote location and arrested Grant two days later.

“I’m not trusting nobody with my dog,” said the pup’s owner, Melvin Rodriguez, 22, who picked the pooch up from the ASPCA.

The squad started tracking down Grant just an hour after they helped make an arrest in the fatal stabbing of 9-year-old Anthony Maldonado in the same Morningside Heights complex.

The Viper squad is responsible for monitoring surveillance cameras in city housing projects.