File Photo – Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy John Forlenza and Canine Dax | Provided Photo

The sheriff is asking the public for their thoughts after Lake County Sheriff’s Canine Dax, who remains under medical care, was injured during the apprehension of a suspect near Zion.

The Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin Police Department began pursuing a stolen vehicle around 11:55 p.m. Sunday.

The driver of the vehicle struck a Pleasant Prairie police squad car at one point, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.

The driver crashed the stolen car in the 41000 block of North Green Bay Road in unincorporated Zion after striking the squad.

The suspect driver fled on foot from the vehicle, Covelli said.

Lake County Sheriff’s Canine Dax and his handler Deputy John Forlenza were requested to track the fleeing suspect, who was believed to be hiding in a wooded area.

Covelli said the duo arrived at the scene and Forlenza gave announcements warning the offender to surrender. Dax began barking to further warn the suspect.

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The offender refused to surrender or make himself known, Covelli said. A brief track occurred and Dax located the suspect hiding in the woods.

Dax bit the offender in the torso area and he subsequently surrendered.

The offender, later identified as a 16-year-old Zion juvenile, was taken into custody and transported to an area hospital for the bite, Covelli said. Charges are pending in Illinois and Wisconsin.

During the apprehension, Dax sustained an injury resulting in him not being able to bear weight on his hind legs.

He is currently under the care of a veterinarian, Covelli said.

“We are extremely hopeful Dax’s injury is not serious. Please send positive thoughts to Dax and Deputy Forlenza, as the extent of the injury is determined. We are all wishing Dax a speedy recovery,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.

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