Harrison County deputy, K-9 pepper-sprayed while apprehending suspect

Harrison County deputy, K-9 pepper-sprayed while apprehending suspect
Officers responded to a multiple-round ShoptSpotter alert in the area of N. Liberty Court just after 9:30 p.m. (Source: Gray News)

From the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office

HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (News Release) - On 10/02/2019 at approx. 9:00 PM, Greenwood PD in Louisiana started a pursuit of a stolen vehicle out of Shreveport, LA that led them across the state line into Harrison County Texas. Greenwood advised dispatch that the vehicle was occupied by one white male and one black male. The subjects in the vehicle fled on foot in the area of School Ave. and Magnolia Rd. in Waskom Texas. Harrison County K-9 was called to the scene to assist with looking for the subjects. K-9 Handler Harman and K-9 Pato arrived on the scene and began a search.

Approx. 12:00 A.M., while tracking K-9 Pato alerted and found a Black Male subject hiding under a tractor-trailer on top of the axles parked near Jims Bar-B-Q., Deputy Harman began to order the subject to come out. As he crawled out, armed with pepper spray, he sprayed the Officer and K-9, making it difficult for the officer to see, and being alone, he gave Pato his bite command to take the subject down. K-9 Pato, pepper-sprayed and hurting, followed orders and bit the subject, taking him down. The subject then started to strike and choke K-9 Pato. He stood back up with K-9 Pato still on him and walked about 30 ft. into a heavily wooded area where he continued to punch, choke the K-9 off of him in an attempt to get away. Deputy Harman was able to get enough of the pepper spray out of his eyes, and not being able to see well, went into the woods to help his K-9 partner. Harman gave commands to the subject to stop fighting when he noticed the subject had a 2-foot-long knife. Deputy Harman took the knife from the subject and was able to get compliance. Then he released the dog from the bite. Waskom PD officers assisted in handcuffing the subject. Justin Allen McKenzie was taken into custody, treated by EMS, and transported to the Harrison County Jail. Deputy Harman and K-9 Pato were treated by EMS at the scene. K-9 Pato will follow up with his veterinarian this morning. The other suspect was not located in the search. This investigation is still ongoing and updates may be given when available.

K-9 Pato is one of our newest K-9s. I believe that K-9 Pato not only did his job but most likely saved his handlers life. These K-9’s are a very important part of Law Enforcement. K-9 Pato was one of the recent K-9’s that was purchased through the Sheriff’s Office fundraising. Thanks to the support of our community this officer’s life wasn’t taken.