Police dog captures fugitive in 5 minutes

Saturday, November 4, 2006

The Scott County Sheriff's Department's new canine has been on active duty for about a month and half.

By KYLE W. MORRISON

Southeast Missourian

Lance Farrow had nowhere to run.

After leaping from a 14-foot-high bridge, he took off running from Scott City police officers who pulled him over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

In the early morning hours Sunday, Farrow, 37, could have evaded capture in the darkness had it not been for one dedicated and furry officer.

After about a five-minute search beneath the Ramsey Creek Bridge near U.S. 61, Jaro, the Scott County Sheriff's Department canine, sniffed Farrow out and officers arrested him without incident.

"They did a wonderful job," Scott City police chief Don Cobb said of the county canine and deputies. "We would have been out there all night."

Jaro has been on active duty for the sheriff's department for about a month and half, Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said. About $18,000 in donations bought and trained the animal, and donations were expected to maintain Jaro, he said.

The canine is the second dog on Walter's staff, but Jaro is more versatile than Lady, who is used only for tracking. Jaro can track, sniff out drugs and attack, according to Walter.

In Farrow's case, Jaro saved the Scott City Police Department man-hours and possibly prevented further crimes.

"Even on a misdemeanor situation like this, that person becomes desperate," leading to carjackings and other crimes while the suspect flees the scene, according to Cobb.

Greene County issued a warrant for nonsupport against Farrow, Cobb said. However, the warrant is such that only an arrest in Greene's surrounding counties could result in extradition; Scott County officers could not have held him, he said.

But apparently Farrow did not know this and decided to take off running, the chief said. The jump from the bridge hurt his shoulder, and he was taken to a hospital for treatment following his quick arrest with the help of Jaro. This was Jaro's first capture of a fleeing suspect, Walter said.

He was later released on state summonses for driving while intoxicated, failure to drive on the right side, having an open container and resisting arrest, according to Cobb.

Since being brought to the department, Jaro has helped with searches throughout the county and has assisted other agencies, including those in New Madrid County.

The canine has even helped out Walter.

The sheriff recently pulled over a vehicle for a minor violation in Sikeston, Mo. Jaro and his handler, deputy Paul Dirden, responded to the scene to assist. Within minutes, Jaro was able to sniff out narcotics in the vehicle. A routine traffic stop turned into a drug bust.

"I probably wouldn't have been able to find it without the dog," Walter said.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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