Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Burglary suspect injures Hillsborough sheriff's dog, but the canine gets his man

Teton of the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office sits on Monday next to his handler and partner, Deputy Brian Davis. A burglary suspect punched and attempted to strangle the dog. “He was more focused than ever after being battered,” Davis said of Teton.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Teton of the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office sits on Monday next to his handler and partner, Deputy Brian Davis. A burglary suspect punched and attempted to strangle the dog. “He was more focused than ever after being battered,” Davis said of Teton.

BRANDON

Sheriff's Office canines are trained for a lot of things. But not this.

Not being nearly strangled by a burglary suspect in the blackness of a murky swamp. Not being punched in the head while treading water as the suspect slithers away.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Teton had a rough morning.

It started about 2:30 a.m. Monday outside the Courtney Trace Apartments, where someone reported a car stolen. Hillsborough sheriff's deputies arrived to find three men running from the scene.

They caught Anton Crawford, 19, and Deangelo Robinson, 18, and arrested them on charges of grand theft auto, burglary and obstructing officers. The third suspect ran off into the darkness.

Cue Teton.

He and his partner, his partner, Deputy Brian Davis, followed 20-year-old Ervin Wilson into a wooded area near The Addison Apartments. They bounded across the mucky ground, soon finding themselves chest-deep in a swamp.

There, barely visible through the trees, was Wilson. "All we could see was his head," Davis said.

Teton, a German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix, thrashed toward him as Davis followed behind.

His paws furiously treading water, Teton lunged at Wilson with his teeth, Davis said. But Wilson lunged back, hooking his thumbs through Teton's chain collar and yanking him upward several times before punching the dog in the head.

Davis said he finally caught up to Teton and they struggled together to gain control of Wilson. But the man got away.

Davis said Teton kept swimming, waiting for Wilson to come up for air. "He was more focused than ever after being battered," Davis said.

Wilson finally emerged right in front of the dog, who bit him twice before two other deputies were able to swim over and drag Wilson to dry land. He was charged with grand theft auto, burglary, obstructing an officer and battery on a law enforcement officer canine.

Davis said he carried his exhausted partner out of the water "like a child."

"When you spend 12 to 15 hours a day together, you build a bond that people don't really understand," Davis said. "I know he's going to be there to protect me, and I'm going to be there to protect him."

Not knowing how much water Teton might have swallowed during the tussle, deputies took him to a veterinarian. Teton was hooked up to an IV for fluids and antibiotics as a precaution and given X-rays on his neck, chest and abdomen. Other than an upset stomach and probable headache, Teton was fine, the veterinarian told Davis.

When Teton is rested up, Davis said he will reward him with some plain cheeseburgers from McDonald's. He'll also give the dog a training refresher with a reward at the end — a fellow deputy waiting to play tug-of-war. "He did a great job," Davis said. "He proved himself to me last night."

Times staff writers Jessica Vander Velde and Andy Boyle contributed to this report. Kim Wilmath can be reached at kwilmath@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3386.

Burglary suspect injures Hillsborough sheriff's dog, but the canine gets his man 05/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. University student accused of making bomb threat on Snapchat

    Crime

    DELAND — A Florida university student is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus.

    Stetson University freshman Griffin Powell, 18, is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus in DeLand.


  2. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants

    Bucs

    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  3. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium

    Bucs

    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  5. Watch live: President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly

    World

    UNITED NATIONS — U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to take the spotlight at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations — but it's the tough global challenges from the nuclear threat in North Korea and the plight of Myanmar's minority Muslims to the …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]