Canine Hero of the Day: Police Dog Thwarts Would-Be Bomber
If you're going to threaten to blow stuff up, be forewarned: That dog over there, who is trained to thwart any and all such threats, can't understand a word you say.
A police dog bravely ended a three-hour standoff Tuesday night after a man barricaded himself in a Wichita, Kansas gas station claiming that his backpack was full of explosives, which he intended to ignite.
The suspect entered a Shell station at around 10 p.m. Tuesday and confronted employee Sazzad Kahandaker. As seen on a KWCH News video, Kahandaker described this encounter:
"I ask him, 'How can I help you?' He said, 'Lock the door.' He has a backpack and he opens that," indicating that it contained explosives.
As reported by KFDI News, the suspect held Kahandaker and some customers captive for half an hour. When the suspect finally let them leave, Kahandaker covertly pressed the secret alarm button, alerting police.
Officers arrived and made contact with the suspect from outside the station's shop. "He advised that he had some C-4 and was gonna blow everybody up," said Wichita Police Captain Jeff Easter on the KWCH video.
C-4 is a type of plastic explosive used extensively during the Vietnam war and by al-Qaeda terrorists in the 1996 bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen. This stuff can cause serious damage. When the suspect refused to surrender or budge, Wichita police set up a 1,000-foot perimeter around the station, evacuated 15 nearby homes, and stopped traffic in the area. At that point, the suspect cut off all communication.
SWAT team members surrounded the station, accompanied by human and robot members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal bomb squad. But what finally ended the standoff at about 1:30 a.m.?
Four legs, sleek fur, steely eyes, expert training, a keen mind, and extremely strong jaws.
"We deployed one of our dogs inside of the building," Easter explained. The video shows heavily uniformed cops ushering an alert German shepherd dog into the station.
Once inside, the dog backed the suspect into a corner, at which point "SWAT was able to go in and apprehend him," Easter said. "He has a few injuries from the dog, but no major injuries."
Nearby roads remained closed throughout the wee hours as the bomb squad investigated the suspect's backpack. No explosives were found in it. The suspect's motives remain a mystery, Easter said.
What isn't a mystery is that age-old fact: Canines can outrun us. They can outbite us. Aren't you glad bad guys know this?