LEE COUNTY, Fl. - A Lehigh Acres man is behind bars Friday after deputies say he beat one if their K9s.
The good news is that the canine officer named Iron, is going to be fine. He was checked out for internal injuries and is home with his handler. Officers say the dog did everything he's trained to do in high stress situations like this one.
"These dogs are going after the most violent offenders that we have in Lee County," says Sgt. Fred Janke, LCSO K9 Unit Supervisor.
Sgt. Janke says K9 officer Iron is home recovering after being attacked while trying to take down Warren Jackson.
"Punched him in the face, in the snout, in the side of the head," adds Sgt. Janke.
Thursday night, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call involving Jackson and his girlfriend on a Lehigh Acres street. After searching Jackson, they found cocaine on him. That's when he took off on foot. Deputies tried to stop him with a taser but missed.
"One of our K9 handlers was there and the dog was deployed... just prior to the dog getting to the suspect, the suspect turned and kicked the dog in the side of the chest," Sgt. Janke adds.
Deputies pepper sprayed Jackson but they say he continued to beat the K9. Deputies tased and cuffed him, and Iron was taken to the vet. Neighbors were shocked to hear about the crime.
"I dont know anybody that would run like that and injure a canine dog I mean for what reason?" says one neighbor.
Sgt. Janke is a K9 handler himself. He says these dogs are trained to overcome violent encounters in the line of duty.
"Whether it be a murder suspect or an armed robbery suspect these dogs are often tasked with going out and searching for these guys," he says.
Jackson is facing charges of obstruction and resisting an officer.