By T.J. Wilham
The Albuquerque Journal
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rozko's partner says what he did to apprehend a fleeing suspect doesn't seem human. It wasn't.
Rozko, one of eight Albuquerque police patrol dogs, was back at work Wednesday, less than two days after he was choked until he nearly lost consciousness while wrestling with a suspect.
"He does things that are superhuman as a daily event," said officer Drew Bader, Rozko's partner. "It didn't surprise me at all that he was able to go right back to work. That is his nature."
Shortly after midnight Tuesday, Albuquerque police officers spotted a stolen red Chevrolet Malibu on Central near Sierra SE. When officers stopped the vehicle, the driver, William Ainsworth, took off running, according to police reports.
Bader and Rozko were called to help find Ainsworth.
While searching the area, Bader noticed a home with an open crawl space underneath, so he sent Rozko to check it out. Rozko started barking, indicating someone was inside.
Bader then entered the 31/2- foot tall dusty crawl space. As he got closer, Bader saw Ainsworth pulling on his partner's collar, choking him. The collar was pulled so tight that it was about the diameter of a coke can, he said.
Rozko's front paws were off the ground, his eyes were rolling into the back of his head and he was moaning, Bader said.
"He's my friend. He's my partner. We have a strong bond. It was upsetting for me to see that," Bader said. "I'd hate to see that again.
"I felt I had to do something to save my dog's life."
Bader said he hurried to Ainsworth, who was holding a knife, grabbed him and forced him to release Rozko.
The dog then jumped back up as if nothing had happened and bit Ainsworth's arm, forcing Ainsworth to drop the knife.
Ainsworth was later taken to the West Side jail and charged with the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, criminal damage to property and battery on a peace officer. Investigators said Ainsworth might face more charges for hurting Rozko.
Copyright 2007 Albuquerque Journal
N.M. K9 back to work after being choked by suspect