Wood County’s new K9 officer catches assault suspect twice

Wood County’s new K9 officer catches assault suspect twice
Pictured are Deputy Constable Jeff Hammond, K9 Mata, and Constable Kelly Smith. (Source: Constable Kelly Smith Facebook page)

WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Wood County’s new K9 officer apprehended his first suspect Friday night after the man allegedly assaulted another person and then fled into a wooded area.

According to a post on Constable Kelly Smith’s Facebook page, a man “brutally assaulted” another person and then fled into a nearby wooded area. At that point, Smith and Mata were asked to assist in the search.

“The felon attempted to flee again, but K9 Mata quickly apprehended him, and he was taken into custody,” Smith said in the Facebook post. “It was great, after K9 Mata and I caught our breath, seeing K9 Mata meet the law enforcement officers involved and how social he is with them.”

The suspect has been identified as Quinten Wade Grogan, 27.

KLTV has reached out to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office for more information on the alleged assault.

The manhunt capped off a busy day and night for Smith and Mata. After an early training session, the constable and his K9 did a school presentation and served papers for juvenile probation, the Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace court, and private service, according to the Facebook post.

Smith and Mata patrolled communities in Wood County’s Precinct 2 and attended the Mineola ISD varsity football game. Mata also did his first live building search for burglars after a local business asked for their help and assisted with several vehicle searches.

Mata recently graduated from an intensive nine-week training course that he took part in Houston with his partner. He is the first Wood County K9 to be nationally certified in tracking, narcotics detection, and patrol by the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association.

Training school for the K9s is expensive and not in the Wood County budget, so local businesses donated to help get the enrollment, cost of the dog, and training sessions paid for, at a cost of about $16,500. Hotel fees and travel costs were paid out of pocket by Smith, who continued working on the weekends in Wood County after training school was over in Houston each week.

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