The K-9, named Ammo, was called in after the 33-year-old suspect stole a Ford F-150 and led a deputy on a short car chase just after 2 a.m., the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said. The suspect had ditched the vehicle and disappeared into a heavily wooded area along the roadway.
Ammo and his handler began tracking the suspect from the stolen truck, police said. The trees were so dense, the handler had to crawl on his hands and knees to follow Ammo. The police dog led the way through thick blackberry bushes and past several houses until coming to a large clearing full of large slash piles, collections of natural debris such as tree limbs and leaves.
Sticking to the suspect’s trail, Ammo traversed downed trees, piles of roots and loose branches, and located a discarded shoe belonging to the suspect, investigators said.
Ammo sniffed out the suspect hiding under branches and a root pile near the edge of the clearing. The suspect grabbed the K-9’s muzzle and squeezed the dog’s nose to restrict his breathing, according to police. Despite the struggle, Ammo maintained his grip on the suspect’s leg until deputies arrived.
The suspect, who has not been identified, was taken into custody and treated for minor injuries.
He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on charges of theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, felony eluding, obstructing law enforcement, and harming a police dog.
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