Monday, February 05, 2007


I saw this article on the Houston Chronicle website this morning, “HPD dog bites man attempting burglary at impound lot” (linked via title bar). In the briefest of summations:

“They found the man hiding in one of the cars, but he refused to exit the vehicle. A canine unit was called in to get the suspect out of the car.”

“The man suffered a dog bite to the arm. He was arrested for trespassing and could face burglary charges.”

I may have shared a similar police incident some time back; one that fits the same mold, it bears repeating, or should that be dogs repeating? I’d been dispatched as a one man unit to an alarm going off on a combination gas station grocery store. One of the windows of an all glass store front had been broken leaving a large enough hole for somebody to enter. I caught a glimpse of movement, a head wearing a ball cap that dropped down as I arrived so I had a K-9 unit check by.

We called inside to advise the suspect that we were about to let the dog go and got no response. The dog picked up on the suspect’s location in a matter of moments and latched onto his shoulder and dragged him out through the hole in the window. We handcuffed the suspect, searched him down, looked at the bruised and torn shoulder area and took him off to jail. Now, if we as police officers had bruised or bitten the suspect’s shoulder we’d have been up in front of the grand jury for violating his rights; but since the K-9 dog had performed his duties within departmental guidelines every thing was hunky dory.

Somewhere there’s a bit of Dirty Harry mentality in all cops, knowing that some small measure of justice had been dispensed prior to the courts slap on the wrist. I was always grateful when a K-9 unit was able to check out the dark corners of a building prior to my having to go in after the bad guys. Give that dog a bone.

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