Police Dog Captures Robbery Suspect

April 18, 2007

Los Angeles: An LAPD K-9, named Axel, captured a man wanted on a robbery warrant after detectives saw the man during a stakeout in the San Fernando Valley on April 10, 2007.

It was about 9:40 in the morning when two detectives were staked out on a car that was used in a robbery. When a man got into the car, the detectives followed him until the man abandoned the car near the 12000 block of Gaviota Avenue. The driver took off running and hid.

The detectives called in additional officers, including Axel and his handler, Police Officer Dennis O’Sullivan, who are assigned to Metropolitan Division. O’Sullivan directed Axel to search for the suspect.

Axel located 36-year-old Alex Francisco Vigil out of sight of his handler. During the initial contact, Axel bit Vigil on the right arm and thigh. Vigil was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital as doctors evaluated if he needed surgery to treat the injuries.

Detectives confirmed that Vigil was the man driving the car connected to the recent robbery. The investigation will continue to determine whether if he was involved in the robbery.

Police dogs used by LAPD are trained not to bite unless the dog is attacked, or if the suspect tries to flee.

Police dogs conducted 518 searches last year and located 294 suspects. Sixty-two of those suspects received bites, with only two of those bites requiring hospitalization. Policy reviews found both incidents in policy.