BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) - A man found in a stolen car who fled from police may not be in custody tonight had it not been for the hard work of one Edina Police K-9. It's barely been five months since Blitz, a two-year-old German Shepard from Slovakia graduated from K-9 school, but he was reacting like a veteran while assisting in the search, according to his handler.
Blitz, who wears his Edina Police K-9 badge with pride, was trained in march at the St. Paul K-9 School, graduating in May. Since graduating he has been on patrol with his handler Sean Young, who also gives him a home when he isn’t on the job.
“He comes home with me so he's like a family dog at home,” Officer Young said of Blitz who knows when it is time to clock in for work. “At work he turns a switch on and knows he's at work.”
Wednesday afternoon, Blitz's K-9 switch was on high alert on the 9500 block of Oxborough Curve in Bloomington.
“I was out back raking the lawn and cleaning up the leaves and the policemen came up through the woods behind us asking me if I'd seen anybody,” said Jim Plantan who lives in the neighborhood.
Officer Young says he and Blitz, along with aid from Bloomington handler and his K-9, Ted, caught the suspect – Darnell Hamilton of St. Paul.
Hamilton was spotted in a stolen car and later fled on foot. Hiding from police they say for a couple hours until Blitz sniffed him out in Tim Leafblad's backyard.
“He found him in the gazebo, gave a chomp on him and they had him lassoed in there,” Leafblad chuckled.
After Hamilton was brought in, Blitz’s contribution was noticed by his (human) Edina Police colleagues.
“It's outstanding work by the officers and especially the dogs. Without the dogs we can't find these people,” Edina detective Sergeant Kevin Rofidal said.
The reward Blitz wants is simple.
“A lot of playing with his toys and a lot of praise,” Officer Young said.