Smyrna police dog assaulted in street fight

SMYRNA — A police dog made an apprehension Wednesday night despite a suspect’s efforts to strike and choke it, authorities said when announcing the arrest.

Smyrna Police said K9 Rex located a 28-year-old Smyrna man hiding behind a building after a pursuit stemming from an earlier domestic dispute investigation.

The suspect, Brandon S. Pierce, was treated for injuries during the apprehension. He was then charged with second-degree assault on a law enforcement K9, police said.

There were no reported injuries to the German Shepherd or his handler.

Police said the sequence began at approximately 10 p.m. That’s when officers were called to the unit block of East North Street for a reported fight in the street with Mr. Pierce and girlfriend Megan A. Eashum, 30, of Camden.

A fleeing suspect allegedly attempted to choke K9 Rex during an apprehension Wednesday and was charged with assault, authorities said. (Submitted photo/Smyrna Police)

Ms. Eashum was known to have several active capiases for her arrest, authorities said. Mr. Pierce allegedly approached an officer aggressively as she was taken into custody.

Police claimed Mr. Pierce was allegedly attempting to prevent the arrest by trying to assault an officer after being told to stand back.

Mr. Pierce fled on foot on East Street when officers attempted to take him into custody, police said.

K9 Rex, who police said takes commands in German, and his handler arrived on scene in a vehicle, police said. They chased the suspect before he was allegedly seen entering a building. The officer then turned the dog loose to make the arrest, according to authorities.

Mr. Pierce was eventually subdued during the confrontation, police said.

Charges against Mr. Pierce also included criminal mischief over $1,000 for allegedly damaging a citizen’s vehicle during the street fight, resisting arrest and attempted assault on a law enforcement officer, and disorderly conduct.

Investigation into the alleged domestic dispute led to offensive touching and criminal mischief charges against Mr. Pierce.

He was arraigned through video at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and held by the Department of Correction in lieu of $3,000 secured and $200 unsecured bonds.

Ms. Eashum was charged with malicious interference with emergency communications connected to the alleged domestic dispute. She was turned over to the DOC in lieu of cash bail and the capiases.

According to Smyrna Police, department dogs take part in annual certification through the National Police Canine Association. Their unit is initially certified by Delaware State Police K9 unit.

K9s Rex and Ronin were purchased by Smyrna Police in December 2014 through a $29,000 state grant covering 18 months of service. The dogs were born in Slovakia and moved to Tarheel Canine Training Inc. in Sanford, North Carolina.

During training in April 2015, then Pfc. Brian Donner said, “They’re extremely quick learners and any instruction of guidance they pick up immediately and keep it from then on.

“Once they learn to do something, they’ll never forget how to do it.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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