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Date of Issue: December 10, 2009

Sheriff’s dog injured during chase

Pino

Cole

A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office canine was injured early Nov. 27 during the chase of a fleeing motorist.

An officer in a Bradenton Beach patrol truck struck the K-9.

A Bradenton Beach police report indicated that BBPD Officer Tom Ferrara pulled over a motorist identified as Gerald Cole, 33, of Sarasota, near the Palma Sola Causeway/State Road 64 early Nov. 27.

Ferrara had been on patrol when he observed a Holmes Beach Police Department officer looking into suspicious activity involving two people near East Bay Drive and Manatee Avenue in Holmes Beach.

Ferrara noticed a vehicle, without lights on, leaving the area and traveling east on Manatee Avenue off the Island. He followed, and at about 12000 Manatee Avenue West, Ferrara signaled for the driver to pull over, but as Ferrara approached the motorist, he sped away.

The officer gave chase, following the motorist south on 75th Street West, then west on 53rd Avenue West, then north on 34th Street West, where MCSO deputies became involved.

At one point during the chase, Ferrara said he saw the motorist tossing items from his vehicle, including a small plastic bag that was later recovered and determined to be crack cocaine, according to the report.

Near a church on Cortez road, an MCSO deputy released a K-9 to track the fleeing motorist, who had abandoned his car and was on foot, according to the report.

The Bradenton Beach officer struck the dog, which was treated at an emergency veterinary hospital.

K-9 Pino is reported to be doing well, but it was not yet known if he will return to duty.

“It ran directly into the path of my patrol truck,” Ferrara wrote in the report. “I was unable to avoid the dog.”

Cole was arrested and later released from the Manatee County jail on $3,120 bond. He faces a felony charge of possession of cocaine and a second-degree misdemeanor charge for loitering and prowling.

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