INBTI Vice President and Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office K9 Handler Sgt. Michael Szelc
INBTI and Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office K9 Handler Cpl. Adam Reynolds
February 25, 2020
Our unit was deployed in the neighboring county in search of a male wanted with Felony Elude and a Probation Violation. The neighboring county observed this man and attempted to pull him over before a pursuit began an hour and a half earlier. The driver of the vehicle pulled into the entrance of a field, got stuck in the mud, and fled from his car. Cpl. Adam Reynolds and INBTI Vice President Sgt. Michael Szelc responded. The information we gathered once at the scene was that no one chased after the male but did observe him run across the field and into a heavily wooded area. It was determined that Cpl. Reynolds and Ruger would start the trail due to Ruger’s powerful starts. I collected a scent article by using a gauze pad on the interior of the vehicle and bagged it. Adam cast around the vehicle with Ruger before letting him smell the interior and the bagged scent article which was placed outside of the vehicle. Ruger immediately committed to a trail and led across the field and into the wooded area the male was last seen. Disturbance was located throughout the trail as Ruger continued to work. Approx. ¾ mile into the trail Ruger located the male’s shirt stuffed into a tree, the trail continued to lead across steep sloped terrain. Moving down along a creek bottom several fresh footprints were located at the point Ruger jumped from a 4 foot embankment into the creek to cross. We knew we were getting close, Ruger would bay and pull like a train. After trailing for over 2 miles we led to a residence, a search of the home located the wanted male hidden in a closet in the back bedroom
March 19, 2020
Cpl. Adam Reynolds and Ruger were deployed on a wanted subject who had fled from police. A drink bottle the subject was holding was presented to Ruger where the subject was last seen. Ruger quickly took to the trail locating the subjects’ hat, the track advanced with Ruger giving continuous feedback to the scent presence. Adam and Ruger trailed for several miles continuing to find evidence from subject before he was apprehended by cover officers who had set up a perimeter with Ruger close behind.
April 4, 2020
Sgt. Michael Szelc and Zwei were called out in search of a 79 year old male diagnosed with dementia who had left his residence on foot 3 hours earlier. A scent article was collected that belonged to the subject, placed into a bag, and taken to the area where the subject was last seen. Members of the subjects’ family had entered the nearby wooded area and searched prior to the K9 arrival. Zwei was cast on the curtilage of the property before being presented with the scent article. A direction of travel was indicated and quickly led away into the wooded area. At different points of the trail disturbance in tall grass and leaves turned over were observed. Body language change was also observed, Zwei went from nose down tracking to stopping and air scenting in a lateral direction before continuing forward on trail. The Team moved across sloped wooded and open field terrain, encountering barbed wire fences, streams, and cattle pastures Zwei safely located the subject walking in heavy vegetation ¾ mile from his residence. His location was about 350 yards upwind from the point Zwei was air scenting. I believe he smelled him but the scent was weaker than the ground scent available.
We try to replicate and invent scenarios we think we may encounter. Although many calls we receive seem the same, every one of them are very different. We train using TKM components, completing in repetition so we can be ready.