From the Tucson Citizen:
Services to be planned for DPS dog Rico, 7
Rico, a prolific drug-sniffing dog for the Department of Public Safety, on Monday became DPS' first K-9 officer to die in the line of duty when he was struck by a tractor-trailer near Benson.
The 7-year-old Belgian Malinois had been pursuing a pair of suspects who leapt from a pickup a DPS officer had stopped for speeding, the agency said.
About 967 pounds of marijuana were found in the pickup, DPS said. Two men are in jail, charged with transporting drugs and fleeing police.
During four years of service, Rico contributed to the seizure of about 68,000 pounds of marijuana, five pounds of heroin, 85 pounds of cocaine, 95 pounds of methamphetamine and $800,000 in cash, DPS said in a news release.
"Rico was extremely important to our unit," Sgt. Ray Kennedy, who is in charge of the unit, said Tuesday at a news conference, wiping away a tear. "These dogs become part of our family."
Like the other three Tucson-area DPS dogs, Rico lived with his handler, who DPS has not yet named.
Rico was hit by an 18-wheeler around 7:10 p.m. near milepost 287 on Interstate 10, Sgt. Paul Castellano said at the conference.
Rico ran into the interstate as two suspects were being handcuffed, he said.
The suspects, Miguel Angel Mendivil, 25, and Marco Antonio Miranda-Siqueiros, 28, were booked into Pima County Jail, a jail clerk said. Mendivil is being held without bail, and bail for Miranda-Siqueiros is $75,000, she said.
The suspects, both of whom are illegal immigrants from Mexico, have been charged with transportation of marijuana and unlawful flight from law enforcement, the jail clerk said.
Charges may be added after an attorney general review, Castellanos said.
DPS said it has no information about the tractor-trailer that killed the dog.
Memorial services for Rico are being planned, Castellanos said.
Funds in memory of Rico can be sent to 3370 N. Hayden Road 123-411, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 or put in Wells Fargo account 070-388-6168 under the name of Aleca.
Ok...a few things:
1. I met this dog while doing some work at the Tucson area DPS HQ. He was friendly when in the station (where generally everyone is a friendly) Smart dog...>VERY smart.
2. I saw the aftermath of this while coming from church last night...saw the position of the DPS patrol cars, the suspect vehicle and the debris in the road....something is missing from this story.
The suspect vehicle was on the north side of the freeway, which would put it in the open expanse of the state trust land that runs along the freeway. (yeah I know, I have double negatives there...sue me...sue me) The K9 patrol car was parked on the shoulder of the north side of the freeway. The debris was strewn through the #1 lane of westbound travel.
One can certainly PRESUME or ASSuME that the suspects attempted to flee North, but then crooks arent that smart are they? Maybe they decided to flee South towards the center median...which would make sense as it would stop the officers in their tracks or slow them down waiting for traffic to clear.
What I can not figure out....is why the dog was released as the suspects were being handcuffed? Not very smart on the part of the handler.
Also, why would a trained K9 officer release his dog on a freeway? Of course, I assume that the dog was released off leash...nothing in any article indicates that the dog was on or off leash.
Whats the point? I dont, I am tired and need to go bed...just consider it the ramblings of a tired man.
RIP Rico, Good boy, job well done.