Deputy Keith (Dex) Weissman & K9 Astor-Seminole County Sheriff’s Office

Summary of Event: At approximately 0230 hours on 9/21/11, dispatch advised they had pinged a cell phone belonging to a victim. The phone had been taken by one of the suspects during the robbery. Alert responded to the area and observed a suspect bedded down under the power lines adjacent toLockwood. Once on scene I deployed Canine Astor. Alert guided me into the area the suspects were last scene. Canine Astor began to show that he was in human odor and began to track the suspects. Alert confirmed the suspects were moving away from us and that we were tracking in the right direction. Canine Astor tracked into the thicket and swamp staying on the suspects trail. Due to the extremely harsh conditions the suspects were able to expand their distance from us. The suspects doubled back by making a U-turn back towards the power lines. Suspects still attempted to conceal themselves from law enforcement. Alert attempted several times to order the suspects to surrender by using the lou
d speaker. I also gave numerous loud, clear, verbal warnings to the suspects to give up or I would send the dog. Alert was able to observe the suspects conceal themselves deeper into the thicket still refusing to comply with our orders. After tracking closer to the suspects I gave another warning. Alert advised that the suspects were now several feet away from my position. Suddenly one of the suspects complied with my request and surrender stating “I’m right here sir, I don’t want anything to do with that dog”. The suspect later identified as Keith Davis quickly exited the swamp and was secured by units. The second suspect still continued to ignore any orders. Canine Astor was showing signs he was very close to the suspect. I continually illuminated the area with my flashlight in an attempt to see the suspect. Canine Astor lunged toward a pocket of water and as he did I saw two arms emerge from underneath the water. Canine Astor grabbed onto the suspects left arm. Th
e suspect continued to fight Canine Astor and due to Canine Astor’s power both submerged back into the water. I was able to yank on Astor’s lead and pull both Astor and the suspect out of the water. I immediately ordered the suspect to stop fighting the dog. The suspect was able to get to his feet and attempted to pull away from Canine Astor’s grasp. After several more loud clear requests the suspect complied and Canine Astor was ordered to release his grasp. Canine Astor obeyed and I instructed the suspect to walk toward the awaiting Deputies on the fringe of the swamp. The suspect was secured without further incident.

The suspect identified as Winston Holness was checked by Seminole County Fire/Rescue. He was then transported to South Seminole Hospital. Medical staff treated, cleared and released Winston Holness for four moderate punctures to his left forearm area. The punctures were received when Canine Astor made the apprehension. Both suspects were positively identified by the victims.
Total time of this apprehension was 1 hour and 28 minutes.

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