On December 25, 2021, Deputy R. Rae conducted a traffic stop for a speeding violation on Highway 52 North. A K-9 team (Corporal D. Pendolino and his K-9 Rex) were called for backup. When the K-9 team arrived, the driver jumped into the vehicle and attempted to flee.
K-9 Rex and both deputies attempted to stop the driver. However, both deputies were drug by the vehicle for quite some distance before being thrown from it. K-9 Rex remained in the vehicle engaged with the offender until the driver eventually crashed. Even though Corporal Pendolino sustained significant injuries to include a broken wrist and a major laceration to his head, he had the fortitude to immediately get up and remain focused on the situation. Corporal Pendolino was able to run across a large parking lot and a busy roadway to assist Deputy Rae with detaining the driver. Since they were still the only deputies on scene, they had to rely on each other. Corporal Pendolino had the courage and determination to keep going after the violent assault which resulted in him sustaining serious injuries.
Deputy Rae was thrown from a moving vehicle and yet he had the resilience to remain dedicated in pursuing the driver on foot after he crashed. Deputy Rae knew that Corporal Pendolino was incapacitated from his injuries and would be unable to remove his K-9 partner from the offender during the apprehension. Without hesitation, Deputy Rae utilized his K-9 experience and knowledge and was able to successfully remove K-9 Rex from the apprehension once the offender was secure on scene. Deputy Rae displayed his true character and was able to keep a clear head while completing multiple high risk tasks at once under immense pressure after the violent assault that had been committed upon him. The driver of the vehicle was successfully apprehended and charged accordingly.
Corporal Pendolino and Deputy Rae are being recognized as Employees of the Month for December as a result of their brave actions. K-9 Rex displayed exceptional acts of valor during the incident which prevented the possibility of further injuries, or even death, to fellow law enforcement officers and/or the public on Christmas Day.