K-9 helps apprehend suspect in Klamath County

K-9 “Chief” (left), suspect James C. Vincent (right)

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. – A man who led police on a long and dangerous chase was captured with the help of a Klamath County Sheriff’s Office K-9.

KCSO said the pursuit started at about 12:30 a.m. in Klamath Falls when a deputy tried to stop a black Dodge SUV. Instead of stopping, the driver of the SUV sped away recklessly and eventually reached Highway 140 East.

Because of the dangerous way the suspect was driving, deputies backed off to a safe distance.

The pursuit continued for over 50 miles, eventually leading to unpaved and snow-covered roads. That’s when the vehicle got stuck in deep snow, prompting the suspect to bail out.

Deputies said they deployed one of their K-9s, Chief, to assist. “The pursuit ended rather quickly in a canyon with a foot and a half of snow,” explained Chief’s handler, Deputy Hoy. “Chief caught the suspect and held him by the foot for several minutes until I could arrive, and continued to hold him until more back-up arrived. The suspect kicked Chief multiple times, but Chief just held him. If we had to track this suspect through hazardous terrain in the middle of the night without Chief, someone would have gotten hurt.”

Nobody, including Chief, was seriously injured.

The suspect, James C. Vincent, was charged with two counts of attempted assault, attempting to elude, reckless endangering and reckless driving.

Chief is a relatively new member of the sheriff’s office, having joined over this past summer. At the time, his mission was already clear. “He is used to protect officers in potentially deadly situations,” Deputy Hoy said. “He is used to apprehend fleeing suspects, maybe hiding suspects.”

Sheriff Chris Kaber described the addition of K-9s to KCSO as “… a force multiplier—for sure.”

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