Police Dog Nabs Hernando Burglary Suspect
The suspect hit and punched the dog, according to the Hernando County Sheriff.
HERNANDO COUNTY – Judge, a Hernando K-9 officer, caught a suspect Sunday (Nov. 27) who tried to shoplift 120 items from a Walmart, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.
Anthony Loren Edwards, 27, was charged with retail theft (shoplifting), resisting an officer without violence, commercial burglary and with hitting a police dog, according to Hernando County Detention Center and sheriff’s records. Before he was taken to jail, deputies said he was transported to Bayfront Spring Hill where he received 18 sutures to his right thigh and ankle for punctures and lacerations from the dog bite.
Deputies said Edwards stopped at Walmart on Commercial Way in Spring Hill about 7 a.m. where he decided to shoplift 120 items from the store. These items included jewelry, clothing, a hamper, gloves, a few key rings, several watches, a coloring book, gel pens, lip gloss, and numerous other miscellaneous items, totaling $1,597.93. He simply tried to push the basket full of items out of the store., deputies said. When confronted by Walmart loss prevention employees, Edwards fled on foot into a wooded area north of the store.
Deputies arrived on scene to see Edwards running from the store with loss prevention employees chasing him. Deputies also gave chase. Edwards failed to comply with deputies’ commands to “stop.”
A K-9 team was called to assist in locating Edwards. Deputy Brandon Cox and K-9 Judge responded to the scene, while a perimeter was established around the wooded area. Cox and Judge began tracking in the wooded area on the north side of the Walmart. The track proceeded north through the wood line to a fence that separates the Walmart from the Hernando County Water Treatment Facility on Osowaw Boulevard. The K-9 team and assisting deputies then responded to the Hernando County Water Treatment Facility.
Shortly after arriving at the water treatment facility, Deputy Jefferson Rodriguez said he saw Edwards running southeast within the facility’s enclosure. Cox and Deputy Joe Merando gave Edwards multiple commands to stop running. Deputies said Edwards continued running away.
Cox set Judge free to try catching Edwards. Judge made contact with Edwards’ lower extremity and caught him. During the apprehension, deputies said, Edwards hit and punched Judge
in the head and in the snout.
For information about the Hernando Sheriff, go to hernandosheriff.org.
Photos of Judge and Edwards courtesy of the Hernando Sheriff’s Office.
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