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Police dog hurt while nabbing suspected burglar

July 17, 2014 News Extra

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A Butler police dog was hurt in the line of duty Wednesday night while helping nab an eight-time convicted burglar caught breaking into a sandwich shop in the city.

Kenneth Tyson Jr., 56, of Butler was arrested after grappling with Blade, the four-legged officer. The canine sustained a minor eye injury but is back on the job, police said.

Tyson, whose criminal records include 15 felony convictions, is charged with a pair of felonies and is being held in the Butler County Prison on $100,000 bail.

A call about a burglary in progress just after 7 p.m. sent city police to the Hoagie Shop in the 100 block of North McKean Street.

Officers got there quickly and found the suspect, wearing purple rubber gloves, still inside the business. He matched the description given by a witness.

He followed an officer’s order to come outside, but he refused a command to get on the ground.

Instead, police said, he shuffled sideways toward East New Castle Street. That prompted Patrolman David Villotti, Blade’s handler, to release the dog.

While Blade engaged Tyson, the suspect began “grabbing at the K-9’s face and muzzle,” a police affidavit said.

Officers moved in and handcuffed the defendant.

A veterinarian Wednesday night treated Blade for a cut to the eyelid.

District Judge Lewis Stoughton arraigned Tyson on felony charges of burglary and assaulting a police animal and misdemeanor charges of theft and resisting arrest.

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