San Diego Police canine officer Hondo is recovering after being stabbed on duty. The 2-year police dog helped arrest a man who was armed with a knife on Friday morning. The suspect, 35-year-old Dedrick Jones, has been arrested for attacking a canine officer in the past.
The most recent attack happened on the morning of Dec. 17. A woman called police to report a man had threatened her with a knife on Riley Street, near Kurtz Street in San Diego’s Midway District.
Police confronted the suspect. According to SDPD, the man swung a knife at officers. In order to avoid lethal use of force, Hondo was deployed. The canine officer was able to take down the suspect but was stabbed in the process.
“We love those dogs,” said Lt. Chris Tivanian, a member of the SDPD K9 Unit.
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“Dog owners, they can relate. Imagine hearing that your dog was injured or put in a situation where their life can get taken,” Tivanian added.
Tivanian sees Hondo daily. Dogs like Hondo work across the city and respond to a variety of dangerous calls.
“Oftentimes people will not comply with officers, they don’t fear the consequences that can be imposed on them, but when a police dog shows up, it changes their perspective,” Tivanian said.
Jones was arrested in 2020 after stabbing another police dog named Titan.
“That incident happened in January. Titan is lucky to be alive,” said Tivanian
Titan had to get 100 stitches and have his colon removed following last year's stabbing.
Jones was sentenced to a year in jail for the attack but was released in June based on jail credits for time served. Jones was on probation when he was arrested Friday.
“It is frustrating, but we will continue to answer those radio calls. We’ll continue to respond to the same suspects who were released,” said Tivanian.
While Jones sits in jail, Hondo is healing.
“He’s doing well. He has a couple of stitches where he was stabbed, but he is expected to make a full recovery and be back to work hopefully within two weeks,” said Tivanian.
Jones is facing several criminal charges including animal cruelty. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
San Diego Police Department has 37 canine officers. Four of the police dogs are trained to detect explosives in large crowds.