MESQUITE, TX – A 16-year-old armed robbery suspect was reportedly charged in connection with the fatal beating of a police K9 during a pursuit, according to reports. The charge comes following a necropsy of the police K9 that showed the K9 died from injuries consistent with trauma via assault.
Rest in Peace K-9 Kozmo. End of Watch 04/26/21 pic.twitter.com/VhrvDXAIfd
— Mesquite Police Department – Texas (@MesquitePD_TX) April 26, 2021
At approximately 2:30 a.m. on April 26th, officers from the Mesquite Police Department were assisting the Balch Springs Police Department in the pursuit of three armed robbery suspects, one being an adult and two being juveniles.
Police were said to have been able to disable a vehicle hosting the three suspects by utilizing spike strips, which the three suspects were said to have fled on foot near the area of I-635 and Bruton Road.
Mesquite Police K9 Kozmo was deployed in an effort to help track the three suspects. Authorities were able to locate both of the juveniles and also the adult suspect and took them into custody; however, authorities were unable to find K9 Kozmo.
At approximately 4:13 a.m. on April 26th, an extensive search of the area where the pursuit transpired resulted in the locating of K9 Kozmo’s body. On April 29th, following a necropsy, it was determined that K9 Kozmo was beaten to death.
Out of the three suspects connected to the armed robbery incident, authorities wound up charging a 16 year old juvenile apprehended following the pursuit with felony interference with a police service animal in connection with K9 Kozmo’s death.
We are saddened by the loss of @MesquitePD_TX’s fallen K9 Officer Kozmo who died in the line of duty. We stand with area agencies today in honoring his service to the Mesquite community. Thank you for all you did, Kozmo. End Of Watch: 04/26/21 pic.twitter.com/yRA17Ohnb7
— Grand Prairie Police (@GrandPrairiePD) April 30, 2021
It is unclear as to what investigative details led authorities to charging that specific individual with K9 Kozmo’s death out of the three suspects involved in the pursuit.
In a released statement from the Mesquite Police Department, the following was noted about K9 Kozmo’s service with the department:
“Mesquite Police K9 Officer Kozmo, Badge # 1191, began his career with the Mesquite Police Department in March of 2017. During his four-year career with MPD, K9 Kozmo and his human partner (and best friend), Officer Jason Crawford, assisted with the locating of over 200 criminal suspects and the seizure of nearly 200 lbs. of illegal narcotics.”
“K9 Kozmo was the best of the best. He was a loyal partner to his handler and a dedicated servant to our community. K9 Kozmo excelled in all aspects of police canine work; however, he and Officer Crawford REALLY enjoyed tracking and locating felony suspects who had escaped capture.”
Mesquite Police Lieutenant Stephen Biggs also stated the following about the loss suffered by the department:
“It’s tough. It’s cliché, but it’s so true, these dogs are not just dogs there are a part of our police family. Kozmo has been with us for the last four years he was an amazing dog and he gave his life doing what he was trained to do.”
Authorities have not released the name of the 16-year-old suspect charged in connection with the death of K9 Kozmo.
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Back in April, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on the sad passing of a police K9 in Bakersfield, California that was reportedly shot by a stolen vehicle suspect.
Here’s that previous report.
BAKERSFIELD, CA – According to a press release, a Bakersfield Police Department K9 passed away on the evening of April 27th after reportedly being shot by a suspect involved an allegedly stolen vehicle incident that turned into a pursuit.
Officials say that on the evening of April 27th at approximately 8:43 p.m., Bakersfield Police officers attempted to conduct a stop along Highway 58 regarding a vehicle that had been previously reported stolen.
The driver of the vehicle reportedly refused to stop for officers, and allegedly drove off of the highway and crashed into a chain link fence, which rendered the vehicle inoperable thereafter. The suspect was said to have then fled they disabled vehicle on foot.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office reportedly offered aerial support to help locate the suspect, which the subject was reportedly found in the backyard of a home located within the 2000 block of Feliz Drive.
A BPD K9 handler along with his partner, identified as K9 Jango, were said to have approached the suspect located in the backyard of the residence and the suspect reportedly opened fire.
Unfortunately, K9 Jango was struck by the gunfire, and the K9 reportedly succumbed to his injuries after being transported to an emergency veterinarian hospital.
Following the gunfire from the suspect, two officers on site were said to have returned fire on the man. Medical aid was also provided to the suspect, but the individual reportedly died at the scene.
BPD officials related that the incident is still under investigation and more details will be released later on down the road.
It was noted that a firearm was recovered from the suspect and that both officers who discharged their firearms were wearing body-worn cameras at the time.
The name of the deceased suspect involved in the incident has not been released as of this writing.
According to K9 Jango’s online profile from the BPD’s website, the following is noted about his work with the department:
“Officer Mueller and Jango became partners in March of 2017. Jango is from the Netherlands and his commands are given in Czech. Jango is training to locate and apprehend criminals and also trained in explosive detection. When off duty, Jango loves to chase tennis balls and beg for treats.”