The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in Tampa, Fla., is retiring one of its law enforcement canine partners. “Chino” lived up to his duty expectations when he pursued and captured a murder suspect on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, a final act in Chino’s illustrious law enforcement career.
The HCSO received several 9-1-1 calls regarding a female stabbing victim laying on the ground at a Tampa apartment complex. Once on scene, sheriff’s deputies discovered 25-year-old Bianca McGaughey.
McGaughey perished on scene, succumbing to stab wounds to her torso and neck.
Furthering their homicide investigation, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies garnered details and information regarding the on-again, off-again relationship between Brian McGhee, 29, and former girlfriend, McGaughey, 25.
HCSO deputies focused on McGhee, a former professional wrestler purportedly employed by World Wresting Entertainment (WWE), as a suspect. Thereafter, a deputy spotted McGhee’s car and commenced a traffic stop.
McGhee elected to flee HCSO deputies and a police pursuit ensued.
As McGhee fled on northbound I-275 from Tampa city limits, merging onto northbound I-75 and into Pasco County, he veered and struck a pole.
Surrounded by deputies from the HCSO –joined by Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) deputies– McGhee refused law enforcement officials’ commands to show his hands. Plan B was initiated.
Enter HCSO canine Deputy Chino, already on scene at the crash site.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office canine unit police dog Chino was activated to perform his duty and successfully prompted McGhee to surrender to law enforcement personnel on scene.
A trip to a Tampa hospital was the first stop, given McGhee’s injuries sustained from the traffic crash of his vehicle and those provided by Chino necessary to effect arrest without injury to any law enforcement officials.
Bravely and without hesitation, Chino was released by Deputy Allen and, with verbal command, enabled to jump into McGhee’s car where he pinned the 6′-07″, 280-pound wrestler so that deputies could handcuff him.
After an incredibly successful five years as a HCSO sworn deputy, Chino is set to retire early, stemming from weakened legs and fatigue ratio. Most law enforcement canines work 7-8 years before retirement.
With a forte’ in locating suspects and explosives, Chino fulfilled his duty to the extreme. On his first day of duty, Deputy Allen recalled, Chino located and facilitated the arrest of a burglary suspect in hiding.
Chino and Deputy Allen always paired together and worked the pre-game security sweeps at Raymond James Stadium before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played games. Chino is a highly-trained bomb sniffer and staved off catastrophic potential.
As was always customary between deputies Allen and Chino, each great catch resulted in an extra special treat. Thus, after apprehending McGhee, Deputy Allen treated Chino to his favorite: A sausage biscuit from McDonald’s, along with a serving of ice cream.
The professional and personal relationship between deputies Allen and Chino is insurmountable. “Our bond has grown,” intimated Deputy Allen, a 14-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s almost as if he knows what I’m thinking. And I can really read him.”
McGhee appeared before a Tampa court judge on Friday morning and was denied bond.
In the criminal information derived from HCSO’s homicide investigation into McGhee, and read aloud in open court, it was determined that three witnesses stipulated McGhee as the suspect in McGhaughey’s murder.
Another witness reported to HCSO deputies that McGhee intimated that he killed a woman.
Chino, a 7-year-old German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois-mix breed, and his handler, HCSO Deputy Sheriff Jason Allen, safely concluded their last case together.
An often overlooked aspect of any law enforcement canine member is that he/she be fully sworn in so as to act under color of law and with full effect of arrest powers.
Several states have enacted statutes specifically oriented so as to protect police canines, making it a felony to maim or murder a certified/sworn law enforcement dog.
All states have misdemeanor penalties enacted pertinent to other areas regarding harassment, teasing, and/or mistreatment of law enforcement canines, similar to endemic animal cruelty statutes.
Already endeavored to mimic its human counterpart’s –the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (NLEOM)– is the National Law Enforcement Animal Memorial (NLEAM) to be constructed in Washington, D.C.
The requisite training for police canines is recognized by various law enforcement canine organizations such as the National Police Canine Association (NPCA), the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA), the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), the American Police Canine Association (APCA), and the National Tactical Police Dog Association (NTPDA).
In the annals of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office canine unit is listed a fastidious law enforcement wonder, a phenomenal success story on four legs, and avid consumer of sausage biscuits.
To HCSO law enforcement canine Deputy Chino, you are bid a relaxing retirement with lasting memories of all the great catches. Chino epitomizes dedication to duty.
Law enforcement agencies around the nation typically allow the relational bond between police canine and handler to remain after a retirement. Thus, Chino and Deputy Allen will remain friends and partners, if even in an informal capacity at Allen’s home.
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