Heroic, injured, police dog saves his master’s life but loses his own

edited by Bev Mortimer

Sgt Pat Le Grange with the late, heroic police dog, Deacon. Photo supplied by SAPS.

A Rottweiler police dog called Deacon attacked a suspect armed with a knife when he saw his master was about to be harmed by the suspect, but having been knifed himself earlier by the suspect, he later died from from his wounds.
According to info supplied by SAPS Colonel Priscilla Naidu, Deacon and his dog handler, Sgt Pat Le Grange, were part of the crime fighting team at the Humansdorp K9 unit. At 7.30 on Monday, 20 March, Le Grange was alerted to a house-break-in in St Francis Bay and learned that alleged suspects had escaped into thick bushes.
He and Deacon pursued the suspects. When the suspects did not come out of the bushes in spite of warnings, Le Grange and Deacon crawled into the bushes. Deacon led the way on a long leash.
While pushing forward into the bush Le Grange, at one point, heard a loud scream. When he stood up in a rush to get to his dog, a suspect lunged at him with a knife.
In spite of bleeding from his wounds, Deacon got up to protect his handler and pounced on the suspect. This enabled Le Grange to arrest the suspect.
Le Grange then saw his dog was bleeding profusely and rushed him to a vet. But an hour later, after treatment, Deacon had a cardiac arrest caused by his injury, and sadly passed on.
Deacon joined the crime fighting team at the Humansdorp K9 unit in July last year. He will be sorely missed.
Naidu says police dogs have proven to be pivotal to the success of operations in many cases where handlers on their own would not have been successful.
“They have the ability to detect incriminating items or items with evidential value just by using their senses. They are certainly part of the SAPS Family.”
The 19 year-old suspect was detained on charges of house break-in, attack on a police official and malicious damage to property – that is, for Deacon’s death. The suspect appeared in the Humansdorp magistrate court on 22 March.

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