Crossville, Tenn., police are mourning the death of a police dog allegedly killed by a suspect Wednesday in a pursuit involving a stolen big rig.
Crossville Police Department K-9 officer Cain chased 28-year-old Dustin Lee Dixon, of Crossville, into some woods along a dirt road off Genesis Road after Dixon crashed the semi-tractor and fled from Cumberland County sheriff's deputies and Crossville police.
Dixon remains behind bars on a $246,000 bond, Cumberland County Sheriff's Department officials said Thursday.
He had a run-in with Crossville police at a local housing authority complex several hours earlier when authorities answered a disturbance call, according to an account of the incident in the Crossville Chronicle. About 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office was notified a semi-tractor with no trailer had sideswiped a vehicle on state Highway 68.
Deputies tried to intercept the fleeing truck but the driver refused to stop. Crossville police joined the pursuit and other officers tried to use spike strips to stop the truck, to no avail, the newspaper reported.
Finally, the truck crashed into a tree, Dixon fled and Cain and his handler, Lt. Bart Riden, gave chase. But Cain returned to Riden with multiple knife wounds to his chest, authorities said.
Cain "was rushed out for emergency medical treatment" and taken to the UT Veterinary Medical Center for further treatment. "K-9 Cain succumbed to his injuries and passed away shortly after arriving for treatment," officials said in the statement.
Dixon is charged with reckless endangerment, evading arrest, aggravated assault, DUI, felony theft of property, intentional killing of a domestic animal worth more than $10,000 and violation of the implied consent law, officials said. He faces a date in Cumberland County General Sessions Court on Sept. 25.
The statement from the police department contains a parting sentiment for their four-legged officer, much in the same tradition as human officers who meet their fate on duty.
"It is with saddened hearts that the City of Crossville Police Department announces the final 'End of Watch Call' for a true hero and a three-year law enforcement veteran. K-9 Cain, your watch is over. Good Boy!" officials said.
The investigation is continuing, authorities said.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.