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Rico and the Biohazard Bag

Officer Layton and K9 Rico

On October 7th, 2002 we responded to a burglary in progress call at a surgical center on Flamingo.  The alarm was activated and the alarm company could hear the suspect inside the business.  We located a small glass window on the west side that was broken and someone had crawled in.   We obtained a key from the business owner and made announcements at the front door.  

This was a very large building with multiple doors, offices, and exits to cover.  I took a team of officers with me to be able to cover the angles safely while we searched.  After about 45 minutes we had completed out search and did not locate the suspect.  I knew we must have missed some doors as every room we went in had two other doors leading somewhere else.  I decided we needed to re-check the business but needed a better way to check which doors we had searched.  We went to the front reception area and grabbed a bunch of the round colored stickers that they put on the medical charts.  As we started out search over, we started putting stickers on all the doors we had cleared.  This allowed us to figure out which doors still had not been checked.  One of the doors lead us to a room that said, “Surgical rooms do not enter” We had to clear them so we entered and continued the search.

As we moved into one of the surgical rooms, my K9 Rico began to alert on the east wall.  He raised his nose high in the air and bracketed the cabinets in the room.  He followed the cabinets to a metal rack which held the big red bio hazard bag.  Rico began barking and growling at the bio hazard bag.  At first, I thought sick.  Knock it off.  But the more he focused on the bag, I realized that the suspect had crawled into the bio hazard bag and closed the top.  

After being in the bag for over an hour, he had passed out.  We removed him from the bag and he was breathing but was still passed out.  We had medical come check him before he headed off to jail. Without my K9 partner Rico, I never would have looked in a bio hazard bag for a suspect.  You never know where people will hide.  They might fool us but they can’t fool our dogs.