Ozzy, the Hastings Police K9, makes arrest in West St. PaulWhen a suspect in a drug transaction was chased after by the West St. Paul Police Department and the Dakota County Drug Task Force two weeks ago, the man had seemingly escaped.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
When a suspect in a drug transaction was chased after by the West St. Paul Police Department and the Dakota County Drug Task Force two weeks ago, the man had seemingly escaped.
He had crashed his vehicle after a chase in West St. Paul and had fled on foot. The man disappeared after racing through a group of houses and officers were unable to locate him. The quickly set up a three-block perimeter and then got on the phone with the Hastings Police Department and officer Mike Schmitz.
They knew of the HPD’s not-so-secret weapon, a jet-black German Shepherd named Ozzy. Within minutes, Schmitz and Ozzy were on the way to the scene and soon after they arrived and were briefed.
Schmitz and Ozzy went from house to house in search of the perpetrator. About halfway through the three-block search, Ozzy found the scent he was looking for, which is secreted by the body in times of stress. The dog, which became of a member of a force a year ago, had found the man under a porch.
“Ozzy alerted on an odor that turned out to be the guy we were looking for,” Schmitz said. “Ozzy started alerting and barking. The guy had a great hiding spot. We would never have found him without the dog. It was a phenomenal job. It’s absolutely incredible what these dogs can do.”
At first, the criminal would not come out from his hiding spot from under the deck. Ozzy was eventually turned loose to head into the area to get the man, who started punching the dog.
“That just makes it more fun for Ozzy,” Schmitz said. “Dogs like him don’t get scared and release. They get more in tune with what they are doing. That brings it up to a whole other level if you get into a fight with them.”
The man finally gave up and Schmitz called Ozzy out. The man was arrested shortly thereafter.
This is the third time in the past 11 months that Ozzy has made an arrest.
His first one came last year when a car chase ended here.
In the second case, Ozzy tracked a suspect who had fled on foot. The track covered 1.2 miles.
“He’s coming around,” Schmitz said. “He’s really learning.”