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Police dog dies a hero after arresting suspect and protecting his handler


Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Eastern Cape

EASTERN CAPE - It was a sad day at the SAPS K9 unit in Humansdorp on Monday, 20 March 2023  when one of our own four legged colleague sadly passed away an hour after saving his handler’s life while at the same time, making sure that a housebreaking suspect did not escape arrest.

The sad demise of Deacon, a Rottweiler started at about 07:30 on Monday morning when his handler, Sgt Pat Le Grange and Deacon responded to a call of housebreaking allegedly committed in the St Francis Bay area. After being informed that the suspect/s had entered the dense bushes in the area, Sgt Le Grange and Deacon pursued after them. When warnings to exit the bush had failed, the duo crawled into the thicket with Deacon leading the way on a long leash.

At some point, the handler heard a loud scream and he hastened to get to his dog. As Sgt Le Grange stood up, the suspect lunged at him with a knife. Deacon who had already been stabbed still got up to protect his handler and once again pounced on the suspect enabling his handler to arrest him.  After Sgt Le Grange had secured his arrest, he realised that his dog was bleeding profusely and Deacon was rushed to a nearby vet for treatment.

However, after being stabilised and treated about an hour later, brave Deacon suffered a cardiac arrest due his injury and sadly crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Deacon was 1 year and 9 months old and joined the crime fighting team at the Humansdorp K9 unit in July 2022.

The 19-year-old suspect was detained on charges of housebreaking, attack on a police official  and malicious damage to property( for the death of Deacon). He appeared in the Humansdorp magistrate court on Wednesday, 22 March 2023.

Police dogs have proven to be pivotal to the success of operations in a multitude of cases whereby the handlers on their own would never have been successful. They (dogs) have the ability to go into places that ordinarily a human being would not be able to, they have the ability to detect incriminating items or items with evidential value just by using their senses. They are certainly part of the SAPS Family.



Col Priscilla Naidu
071 362 8726



Additional content:
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