Crime

Pit bull attacks Hancock deputy, K-9

By WESLEY MULLER

wmuller@sunherald.com

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HANCOCK COUNTY -- A deputy and his canine partner were attacked by a pit bull Wednesday night while attempting to serve an arrest warrant.

Deputy Colin Freeman and his K-9, Ringo, were helping other deputies with the arrest about 7 p.m. in the White Cypress community, east of Picayune.

Sterling Kuhlman was not home, and as Freeman and Ringo were trying to leave, a pit bull came out of the house and attacked Ringo, Chief Deputy Don Bass said.

It locked its jaws onto Ringo's hind leg. Freeman separated the two dogs, but the pit bull turned on the deputy and bit him on his leg.

Bass said the pit bull let go of Freeman and attacked Ringo again, grabbing the K-9's neck.

"The pit bull went back at Ringo, and Colin had to shoot the animal," Bass said.

Both dogs survived. The pit bull is recovering and should be released from the veterinarian within a day or two. Ringo, however, will have to undergo rehabilitation and should be back on duty in two or three weeks, Bass said.

Freeman returned to duty Thursday.

Kuhlman is wanted on charges of simple assault and burglary after a December incident in which he and two others allegedly forced their way into a handicapped man's home and beat him over an argument about a four-wheeler.

"The subject is still wanted," Bass said. "We hope that he'll turn himself in within the next two or three days."

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