WEIRTON - A Hancock County Sheriff's Department tracking dog is recovering from wounds she suffered while trying to apprehend a suspect on Wednesday.
Christina, a German shepherd assigned to Sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Scott Little, is home "resting comfortably" and will be off for a couple weeks, Little said.
Christina was injured while tracking a man later identified by police as Robert Anthony Hans, of Weirton. Hans was wanted by Brooke County authorities on two counts of petit larceny and one count of conspiracy to commit a felony.
GERMAN SHEPHERD INJURED — Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy 1st Class Scott Little trains with his police dog, Christina, at a 2011 seminar in Charleston. Christina, a German shepherd, was injured on Wednesday while tracking a man who was wanted on Brooke County warrants. -- Contributed
While pursuing Hans in the area of Paradise Lane and Kings Creek, Christina suffered a cut to her back right leg, right above the pad of her foot, Little said.
Little said Christina never left his sight but that he doesn't know how exactly she was injured.
"We went for about a mile conducting the track," he said. "We were in the water, then on the bank, then back in the water of Kings Creek."
Little said he didn't notice the injury until they returned and he put his K-9 in her kennel. Christina was taken to Town & Country Animal Hospital in Wheeling, where she was given seven sutures by Dr. John Radcliffe and his assistant Carrie Wehr.
The pursuit began shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, when someone called 911 to say Hans was at a residence on Paradise Lane in Hancock County. Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Cowden responded and spoke to a witness who said Hans had just fled on foot into a wooded area, the sheriff's department said.
Little and his K-9 were dispatched to track the fleeing Hans but were unable to locate him. Officers continued to search for Hans and received tips that he was either in the Main Street area of Weirton or in Mingo Junction, Ohio.
Hans was arrested on the outstanding Brooke County warrants at 9 p.m. Wednesday at a residence on Grimm Way in Weirton, the sheriff's department said. Officers from the Hancock County Sheriff's Department and the Weirton Police Department also arrested Stephanie McUmar, of Weirton, on a charge of obstructing an officer.
(Huba can be contacted at email@example.com)