CEDAR CITY – Pajko, a K-9 police dog with the Cedar City Police Department, was injured during an arrest Thursday and is currently undergoing treatment in Las Vegas.
In a press release, CCPD Sgt. Jimmy Roden said police officers were conducting a welfare check on a person who was reportedly suicidal Thursday afternoon.
Officers located the individual’s vehicle near the water tank on Nichols Canyon Road. The individual, a 48-year-old Cedar City man, was located in a wooded area away from the vehicle and was in possession of a handgun. While officers were attempting to establish communication with the man, he fired a single gunshot into the air. He then hiked deeper into the foothills east of the water tank.
Officers made contact with the man after dark. He dropped his handgun, but only after police gave him several commands to do so. However, he failed to comply with other lawful orders.
CCPD K-9 officer Pajko, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was deployed to engage the man. During the deployment, Pajko was injured. He is currently being treated by a specialist in Las Vegas.
Concerning Pajko’s injury, Sgt Roden said in a statement that: “It was determined that (Pajko) had suffered from a herniated disk in his neck. The injury requires surgery that will be performed on Saturday April 27. We are cautiously optimistic that if the surgery goes well and after weeks of recovery and rehab that K-9 Pajko may be able to return to his normal duties.”
The man taken into custody early Friday morning and booked on the following counts:
- Possession of marijuana while also in possession of a firearm during on offense – Second-degree felony
- Possession of drug paraphernalia – Class A misdemeanor
- Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person – Third-degree felony
- Failure to stop at the command of a police officer – Class A misdemeanor
- Causing injury to a police service animal – Third-degree felony
Bail currently stands at $24,000.
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