May 2019 Catch
OFFICER CORY OFFERMAN
EVANSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT (INDIANA)
Officers were dispatched to a residence reference the reporter advising his brother was threatening to hit the reporter`s dog. The RP identified his brother as the suspect and that he had warrants. Dispatch advised the suspect had a felony PTR for auto theft, possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia. The suspect also has prior arrests for battery on law enforcement with injury/knife, felony domestic battery and possession of methamphetamine. K9 Officers J Montgomery, K Ross, MP Officers K Thiry, C Nutt, T George and I, K9 Officer C Offerman responded. I deployed my partner, Police Certified K9 Cash, on a 6` patrol lead to the rear of the residence. The resident/RP advised his brother, that was sleeping, and suspect were the only two people inside and that they were upstairs. The RP secured his dogs outside in the back yard and gave us his other brother`s name.
Officers cleared the first level of the residence and then called upstairs for the RP’s brother. The brother came downstairs and then confirmed only the suspect was still upstairs. I brought K9 Cash inside the residence into the kitchen where the stairs were that led upstairs. At the base of the stairs I gave two K9 warnings, "Police K9! Come out now or you`ll get bit by a dog!" After waiting and hearing no response from upstairs, I released K9 Cash off lead to locate the suspect.
The upstairs/attic area had several nooks and places to conceal a hiding subject. During our search, I observed a low, narrow pathway along the SE corner of the attic that was blocked with many large objects. Along one of the objects I could see a freshly disturbed surface consistent with somebody crawling by it and making contact. Given the rest of the upstairs being more open, I had a MP Officer hold that location as we finished searching the rest of the upstairs. While searching, information was received that the suspect hides upstairs where there are holes in the wall and missing panels on the floor where the suspect can slide underneath.
Once to the aforementioned location, we pulled several large objects out the way and I was able to direct K9 Cash all the way to the end the pathway. Once at the end (at the very SE point of the upstairs), there was a void between the east wall of the house and room to the left. At the point I could see a hole in the flooring approximately 2`x2` that double-backed underneath the floor and above the ceiling from below. This area was approximately 2` in height. I sent K9 Cash down into this void to continue to locate the suspect. Once K9 Cash was in the void, I could look into it and saw the unsearched, felony suspect`s legs as he was laying down between the joists. I could not see the suspect`s hands and gave several verbal commands to show his hands as K9 Cash apprehended the suspect on his right foot. The suspect then attempted to pull K9 Cash`s mouth off his foot by grabbing his mouth. I gave the suspect commands to let go of my dog. Once the suspect released K9 Cash`s mouth and I could see that the suspect was not holding a weapon, I called K9 Cash off the apprehension. However, the suspect moved, I lost sight one of his hands and K9 Cash re-engaged the suspect on the same foot. The suspect was given commands not to move and I called K9 Cash off the apprehension once he complied. Once K9 Cash was back to me, I had K9 Cash exit the void and secured him with MP given the tight quarters. The suspect was given commands to crawl hands-first out, which he complied. Officers placed the suspect in handcuffs once he was out of his hiding void.
This was an extended search with extremely dirty (feces)/cluttered conditions with K9 Cash having to be lifted and directed into several areas he normally doesn’t get into. K9 Cash performed extremely well. During the search, MP commented that the guy wasn’t in the upstairs. Thanks to K9 Cash’s continued effort, the suspect was not able to elude officers in his creative hiding void.