The Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s newest canine, Ryker, had his first successful track Saturday evening when he led deputies to a fleeing fugitive in Beach Park.
Lake County Sheriff Deputy Craig Somerville and his canine partner Ryker were called to assist other sheriff’s deputies with a search for a fugitive, who was wanted on a felony parole violation warrant and for domestic battery.
The fugitive was observed by deputies in the parking lot at the 39000 block of North Sheridan Road in Beach Park.
The sheriff’s office said the suspect disobeyed orders and took off running from deputies into a building.
Ryker was first deployed for a search of the building. Nobody was inside, but a second-story window leading to the back parking lot was found open.
Witnesses told deputies they saw the fugitive run southbound from the building.
Deputy Somerville and Ryker started a track at the point where the suspect was last seen running.
Ryker tracked for nearly a quarter-mile through thick woods, down a steep 30-foot ravine, across a stream and back up a steep hill, according to the sheriff’s office.
Ryker pulled to the fugitive, who was hiding behind a downed tree and lying on his back.
The man surrendered after Ryker began barking at him. “Great job, K9 Ryker!! We’re proud of your first successful track!” the sheriff’s office said.
Last month, Ryker, a two-year-old German Shepherd, joined the department after canine Diesel died from an aggressive form of cancer on September 11.
Ryker joins sheriff’s office canines Dax, Duke, Danno and Boomer.
The canines are deployed hundreds of times a year to look for missing endangered people, search for individuals who fled from a crime, detect drugs being trafficked and other various situations.