4 Oct 2013

Police dog stabbed, man charged

4:09 pm on 4 October 2013

A 37-year-old man has been charged in relation to the stabbing of a police dog, Gus, during an armed offenders squad operation in Northland early on Thursday morning.

The man, who police have not named, is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, attempting to kill a police dog, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and assault with a weapon.

Injured police dog Gus.

Injured police dog Gus. Photo: NZ POLICE

He's been remanded in custody for a psychiatric report and will appear in the Whangarei District Court on 14 October.

The squad and other police were called to a home in Parakao during the early hours of Thursday morning, after reports of a man with a knife and possibly a gun.

The man ran off but was tracked by squad officers and the dog handler, who followed him through thick bush.

Police say they found the man but he stabbed the police dog, then tried to stab the dog's handler.

The handler was wearing a helmet and kevlar vest which deflected the blade.

Inspector Tracy Phillips says Gus, has a punctured lung and has been taken to a specialist surgery in Auckland, but is expected to recover.

Gus' handler and another officer had to carried him over rough terrain for more than 1km for help.

The handler had to spend the trip to Auckland pumping air out of the dog's lungs and Inspector Phillips says the whole experience has been tough for him.