January 2016 Catch

DOUG BUELTEL

K-9 GERO

EVANSVILLE POLICE DEPT.

VCSO was dispatched to a stabbing at 1810 Westbrook Drive after a male called 911 saying that someone has been stabbed at 1944 hrs. Deputy Luecke with VCSO was first to arrive and K-9 Gero and I arrived moments later. After I exited my vehicle, Luecke advised a male came to the door and then ran off when he saw Deputy Luecke. I watched the east door and Deputy Luecke went to the back side and found the back door standing open. After another car arrived, Luecke and I went into the residence to clear it. Luecke found the stabbing victim in the back bedroom. K-9 Elfreich and I cleared the rest of the residence with no one being inside. A deputy on scene advised that Austin Smith frequents this address and was a possible suspect. Smith did have a felony warrant.

I then deployed K-9 Gero on a 15-foot tracking lead. I yelled my K-9 warning and then gave Gero the command to search near the back of the residence. Gero picked up a track and started to pull me hard to the south, crossing Evanston Dr, and then continuing south crossing Elgin Dr. We then crossed a water filled ditch and came to a 7 foot chain-link fence which we crossed. Gero continued to track south through a trailer park, passing Wildcat Pass, and then worked south and a little east until Gero tracked up to the patio of what was later determined to be 1821 Badger Dr as many of the trailers weren’t easily marked with numbers. I casted around to the south, east and west, but didn’t pick anything else up.

At that time, K-9 Elfreich pulled up to assist. K-9 Gero and I covered the back of 1821 Badger while Elfreich made contact up front. A female answered the door and advised she didn’t believe Austin was there. The female was getting a jacket and was going to get the dog out to let K-9 Gero and I clear the residence when Austin appeared at the front door and surrendered at 2022 hrs. This was a great track and find by K-9 Gero.

Smith was interviewed by VCSO detectives and then transported to VCCC for his warrants.

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