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United States Police Canine Association Region 3
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Officer William Seidel & K9 Alson
Montgomery County MD Police

On October 5, 2008 at approximately 0255 hrs, a female was walking to her residence on Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring, MD when a male subject approached her with a knife and grabbed her from behind. The suspect attempted to drag the victim into a secluded area behind a nearby school and sexually assault her. During the attack, the woman was able to break free from the suspect’s grasp. She ran back towards Wayne Avenue and called police.

The suspect fled in an unknown direction; however, the victim was able to provide arriving officers with the exact location of where the suspect had last been seen. Moments later, Officer Seidel and K9 Alson arrived and immediately obtained a track which started on a grassy surface to the rear of the school on Wayne Avenue and led to Sligo Creek Parkway.

Once K9 Alson reached Sligo Creek Pkwy, he turned east and continued tracking north along a hard surface bike path for approximately 40 yards. K9 Alson then left the bike path and tracked in the creek bed. Once in the creek bed, Officer Seidel observed a subject kneeling down approximately 10 yards ahead of his position. The subject was not wearing a shirt; however, he appeared to be holding a shirt in his lap. Officer Seidel held the suspect at bay with K9 Alson until patrol officers arrived to assist.

The suspect taken into custody without incident, and it was discovered that he lived in a nearby apartment community. A show up was conducted with the victim who positively identified him as her assailant. The suspect was charged with attempted rape and attempted kidnapping. The length of the track was approximately 80-100 yards in a suburban environment with a 10-15 minute time delay. Due to their skill and determination, Officer Seidel and K9 Alson were able to apprehend a violent sexual offender.


Cpl Seth Place and K9 Cirka
Morgan County WV Sheriff’s Office

On 8/22/08, Cpl. Place was responding to the US 522 bridge to assist Maryland State Police with a pursuit, coming from Cumberland, MD, heading towards the MD/WV line. While en route, Cpl. Place was advised to cross the state line and set up stop sticks at the I-68, I-70 split. While getting into position, Cpl. Place was advised that the suspect had wrecked on US 40 at the Allegheny and Washington County line. Cpl. Place was asked to respond to the scene for a track of two suspects as he was the closest available K-9 unit.

Once on scene, Cpl. Place made contact with the pursuing trooper, who advised him the vehicle was possibly stolen. The trooper confirmed that there were at least two suspects that had fled the scene. The trooper indicated that the suspects had fled in a southward direction, but was unsure. The trooper further advised Cpl. Place that there were other troopers in the woods, along the creek bed of Sidling Creek.

At this time, Cpl. Place prepared K-9 Cirka for a track while the trooper obtained two other troopers to assist in the track. While waiting for the other troopers, a Maryland State Police helicopter arrived on scene, scanning the area for any of the suspects. Cpl. Place also learned during this time, that no person had approached the driver’s door.

Cpl. Place took Cirka to the driver’s door and gave her the command to “track”. Immediately, Cirka began to conduct a “hard” track in a southward direction. Cirka continued to track for approximately 300 yards until she reached the creek. At this time, Cirka began to circle and worked her way backwards until she showed strong interest in wanting to enter the water. Cirka then entered the water, and Cpl. Place observed wet foot prints on the other side of the creek. Cirka exited the water and continued her track. After tracking about 100 yards on the other side of the water, Cirka began tracking up Sidling Mountain. Cirka continued to track up the mountain, enduring the extremely steep slope and rocky ground.

Near the top of the mountain, Cpl. Place put Cirka in a down, to give her a break. While resting, Cpl. Place noticed they were standing in front of a rock wall, standing about 30 feet high. Cpl. Place had the helicopter scan the area of the rock ledge for any suspects and for an exit route off the side of the mountain. Once the helicopter scanned the area, with negative findings of any suspects, Cpl. Place began walking Cirka South, where she began to pick up a scent and track on her own. Cirka continued her track, which was confirmed by fresh dirt being slid down on the rock ledge, until she reached the top of the mountain.

Cirka then circled back to the area of the rock where the dirt slide had been observed and picked up the track again. Cirka then proceeded East, across an old access road, and back into the woods. Once in the woods, Cirka circled and proceeded north. By this time, Cirka was showing signs of exhaustion, as was Cpl. Place and the two troopers. However, Cirka refused to come off the track she was working, and continued north until she reached an open field. While nearing the field, Cpl. Place observed other troopers along the edge of the woods, setting up observation spots.

Once in the open field, Cpl. Place had Cirka take another rest while he spoke to the other troopers. While speaking to the other troopers, one mentioned that there two camper trailers sitting at the rear edge of the field. As all officers began to go to the campers, Cirka again picked up a scent and began to track. Cpl. Place attempted to pull Cirka from the track, but Cirka continued on her track until she reached the campers.

Once in front of the campers, Cpl. Place put Cirka in a down position in front of the campers. While checking the perimeter, Cirka got up, circled the campers, and started showing strong interest in the camper to the south. A Maryland state trooper was able to clear the camper to the north, but found the camper door locked on the camper to the south. However, a window on the back side of the camper noticed to be open. While looking in the window, the mattress that should have been on the bed was observed on the floor. After several failed attempts to make non-forcible entry into the camper, a trooper located an old fence post. The trooper was able to fit the fence post into the window and raise the mattress. At this time, the trooper advised he could see feet and began to give commands for the person to exit the camper.

Cpl. Place then obtained Cirka and took a position at the camper door. Once the camper door opened, Cirka began to show signs of interest in the persons. At this time, two black males exited the camper and were taken into custody.

It was then learned that the juveniles had escaped from a juvenile delinquent camp in Pennsylvania. It was also confirmed that the car they had been driving and wrecked was indeed stolen. The males were later taken to a local hospital, where they were evaluated for possible injuries sustained in the wreck. Cpl. Place spoke to the troopers who had assisted him, and they advised him that the track covered about 2 miles from start to finish.

Cpl. Place and the troopers advised there respective departments of their findings and started back to the scene. No further Canine usage was required in this track. Cpl. Place later learned that the mountain’s elevation was over 2,300 feet.


CPL Tom Young and K9 Sultan
Berkeley County WV Sheriff’s Office

On 4/60/08, Cpl. Young responded to 842 Williamsport Pike to assist Dep. Butcher, who'd located the occupied suspect vehicle involved in a shooting which had just occurred in Martinsburg. Prior to arriving on the scene, Cpl. Young learned that three of the vehicle's four occupants fled the scene on foot. Upon his arrival, Cpl. Young immediately prepared Sultan for a track. Cpl. Young then briefly spoke with Dep. Butcher and the one suspect who'd remained on the scene. Cpl. Young then obtained Sultan from his cruiser and gathered officers for back up. MPD Officer Neely and 2 WVSP Troopers, Barker and See, assisted on the track.

Cpl. Young took Sultan to the passenger side of the suspect vehicle and gave him the command to "track". Sultan began scanning the area and began tracking east, behind the residence located at 842 Williamsport Pike, shortly thereafter. Sultan continued tracking east for approximately 80 yards, across one set of railroad tracks, to a residential area off of Mimosa Drive. The track continued into the back yard of what was later identified as 91 Mimosa Drive. Sultan began circling around the southwestern corner of that residence with special interest being shown under the attached deck and behind garbage cans. As Cpl. Young began calling Sultan back to continue the track, assisting officers observed the defendant, Travis Latta, lying on the ground behind the garbage cans. Assisting officers placed the defendant under arrest and located two firearms which were in his possession. Cpl. Young remained nearby to the suspect who was initially being uncooperative with producing his hands at officers' order. He remained near the suspect using Sultan as a force presence to prevent further flight until officers escorted him back to the initial scene. Cpl. Young and Sultan then swept the area briefly to ensure there were no other suspects hiding in the area.

Cpl. Young and Officer Neely then swept the area in front of the residence and advised the residents of the situation. Both officers heard a significant amount of barking coming from an adjacent house. Cpl. Young and Officer Neely headed south on Mimosa Drive to where the barking dogs were heard. Cpl. Young cast Sultan in attempt to locate a suspect track in a nearby alley. Sultan again began tracking, again to the east. This was confirmed by a fresh footprint which was located in the mud by Cpl. Young. Sultan continued tracking east through several rows of houses, across several blacktop streets before coming into a large construction site with a gravel surface. The track continued east and was continually confirmed by the presence of fresh, muddy footprints. Once reaching the middle of the open area, Sultan circled while still tracking, still confirmed by footprints, and began heading back west. The track led to an empty house. Both officers checked the house without locating another suspect. While behind the house, Cpl. Young heard the distinct sound of fast-paced footsteps to the north. Cpl. Young again cast Sultan to continue tracking, which he did, in a northerly direction. Sultan began showing signs of exhaustion but continued forward. Cpl. Young then began trying to locate another available canine nearby. Having been unsuccessful locating a second dog, Cpl. Young continued for approximately 200-300 more yards before Sultan ceased on the track. At that point, Cpl. Young ceased any further attempt to continue urging Sultan to continue and called the track.

Cpl. Young and Officer Neely advised their respective departments and officers of their findings and started back to the scene. No further canine usage was required.



Officer Eric Croom and K9 Gunner
Metro Transit Police

On 1-26-2008, at 2100 hours, at 5008 36th Place, Hyattsville, Maryland, Metro Transit Police Officer Eric Croom and his partner “Gunner”, responded to the area pursuant to a request from the Hyattsville Police Department in reference to an armed robbery which had just occurred. After arriving on the scene, the handler was advised that the suspect had jumped the counter of a nearby 7-11 (food mart), repeatedly struck the cashier with an unknown object, and choked her until she was unconscious. The suspect removed all of the money from the cash register as he exited the store, fleeing toward the 3700 block of Hamilton Street. A perimeter was established and Officer Croom responded to the last known area of the suspect.

Officer Croom announced two K9 warnings. When no response was made by the suspect, K9 Gunner was casted on a track to locate the suspect. K9 Gunner began tracking toward a house at 3053 37th Street. The track continued toward the front door, at which time K9 Gunner began scratching and barking. A police announcement was made at which time a resident opened the door and stated, “Someone was hitting my door and trying to break in, but when I came to the door, they ran across the street.” The homeowner then confirmed the suspect’s description and indicated the direction of travel.K9 Gunner was recast and began pulling extremely hard on a track leading in the same direction of travel where the suspect was seen fleeing. K9 Gunner continued to track, then jumped over a fence and continued across the 5000 blk. of 36th Place. K9 Gunner tracked to the rear of 5004 36th Place and jumped over another fence into the rear of 5006 36th Place, where he began lifting his head and wind-scenting.

K9 Gunner’s hackles were raised and he began barking and pulling towards the rear of 5008 36th Place. K9 Gunner became extremely agitated and continued barking and pulling toward a fence. After leaping over the fence in the rear of 5008 36th Place, K9 Gunner was placed in a down and a K9 warning was given with negative results. K9 Gunner was then deployed and headed toward a set of steps going down toward a basement. He apprehended the suspect, who was hiding by lying down on the steps under the porch. K9 Gunner engaged the suspect by biting and holding onto his left bicep and pulled the suspect out from under the porch. Officer Croom and his back up officers approached the suspect. K9 Gunner was commanded to release the suspect at which time he was handcuffed and secured by MTPD K9 Officer Montgomery.

Medical attention was immediately requested and the suspect was treated on the scene by Prince Georges County Fire and Rescue for puncture wounds and lacerations to his left bicep. A show-up on the scene was conducted and the suspect was positively identified by the victim and two additional witnesses. The suspect was arrested and transported to Washington Adventist Hospital for further treatment of his wounds. Following his treatment, the suspect was transported to the Prince Georges County Corrections Facility for processing. The suspect was charged with Strong-Armed Robbery and numerous additional charges.



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