Officers responded to a robbery in progress at La Salsita located at 612 Washington Ave. in Beaumont on Monday, March 31, at approximately 6:37 a.m. Police apprehended a suspect, who a news release indicates could have been involved in multiple recent incidents, and, in the process, had to shoot a dog that attacked officers in pursuit of the armed robber.
A description of the suspect was put out over the radio while an officer was already in the area of the robbery, according to the news release. The officer was at Sabine Pass and Lee Street when he drove up behind a person matching the description of the suspect. The officer attempted to stop the possible suspect, and the man fled on foot between two houses and disappeared in the back yard. Additional officers entered into the area and set up a perimeter. A K9 officer and his partner were called to the scene. The K9 started following the track and went between several houses and into a vacant lot. A German Shepherd broke free from its leash in one of the neighboring yards and attacked the officers conducting the search for the armed robbery suspect. Officers were forced to discharge their weapons to end the attack. The K9 officer and his partner continued to track the suspect and ended up in the 600 block of Lee Street, where the man was located hiding in a garage. A loaded 9mm handgun was located with the suspect. The money from the robbery was reportedly in the suspect's shorts.
BPD Officer Carol Riley said the shooting of the dog was "unfortunate."
"The dog broke his chain and attacked the officers, the K9 unit and the handler, both who are officers by law," Riley explained. "He attacked and the handler attempted to stop the attack. The dog latched onto his pant leg, biting him, and the officer was forced to shoot the dog. Of course he hated to do that, but he didn't have a choice."
Riley said due to the officers' training, they were able to continue the pursuit, leading to the capture of the suspect.The armed robbery suspect, a 31-year-old Beaumont man, was taken to the station to speak with members of the Criminal Investigations Unit and then transported to Jefferson County Correctional Facility. The investigation is ongoing and in the early stages, police report, but the suspect was booked in for Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Aggravated Robbery and Evading Detention/Arrest. The suspect's identity is not being released at this time.