K9 Fights Off Man After He Attacks Officer

Newsday via YellowBrix
July 10, 2009

Talk about taking a bite out of crime.

When an ex-con suspected of a New Cassel robbery lunged at the Nassau County police officer questioning him earlier this week, the officer’s German shepherd, Thunder, had a fierce reaction involving his teeth and the suspect’s thigh, authorities said.

It wasn’t Thunder’s first, ahem, collar of the week.

Just about 24 hours earlier, Thunder led the way to a fleeing assailant suspected of slashing a man in the face. The suspect had eluded cops by hiding in a shed in Island Park, but he gave up without a fight – or a bite – when Thunder found him. McGruff would be proud.
thunder

That’s the kind of loyalty, bravery and restraint police canine units in Nassau and Suffolk look for when scouting for dogs tasked with searching for drugs, explosives, hidden suspects and more, say the cops who handle them.

“The suspect – he dictates if he’s getting bitten or not – not the cop, not the dog,” said Sgt. John Hill, the supervisor and trainer of Nassau’s canine unit.

Hill’s unit has nine dogs, all German shepherds who hail from Europe. The canine team patrols the county and monitors police radio frequencies for incidents where a police dog might be able to help. They also do VIP assignments: It was Hill’s canine unit that helped sweep Hofstra University for explosives before last year’s presidential debate.

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