TAMPA, Fla. — A 7-year-old K-9 named Chino ended his career with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office by capturing a murder suspect on Wednesday night.
Deputies were chasing 29-year-old former professional wrestler Brian McGhee when his car crashed into a guardrail in nearby Pasco County. When McGhee refused to obey orders, Deputy Jason Allen sent Chino, a German shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, into action.
Chino leaped into the open car door and pinned the 280-pound suspect, who was taken to the hospital for injuries sustained in the crash and apprehension. He was later arrested and on Friday morning a Tampa judge denied a request for bail during his first appearance on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his girlfriend, Bianca McGaughey, 25.
For Chino, it was an excellent final day on the job, where he had worked for five years. He's retiring early due to leg problems and fatigue.
"Last night was probably one of the best," Allen, Chino's partner, told The Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/1aMYTbh ). "What a way to retire, especially with a homicide suspect. It really can't get any better than that."
Chino, who normally enjoys a sausage biscuit from McDonald's after he catches a suspect, was also being treated to ice cream to celebrate his retirement.
Allen recalls Chino's first day on the job, when he nabbed a burglary suspect. Since then, he's become an expert at locating suspects and detecting explosives. In fact, Allen and Chino routinely inspected the area around Raymond James Stadium before football games. The pair also worked security at the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa.
They began working together when Chino was 2. They completed a two-month training course and have worked together ever since.
Allen said retirement will be a big change for Chino. "He loves work."
"Our bond has grown," said Allen a 14-year veteran of the sheriff's department. "It's almost as if he knows what I'm thinking. And I can really read him."
Allen will be getting another K-9 to keep him company on the job. And he will also keep Chino.
"Instead of him getting hurt on the job, it's time for him to retire," said Allen. "It's a good time for him. I don't want him to not enjoy his retirement."
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Copyright 2013 Associated Press