HOUSTON — A Houston police dog is hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed while chasing a robbery suspect Saturday morning, according to the department.
Houston Police Exec. Asst. Chief Satterwhite said police dog 'Nate' was rushed into surgery after a suspect stabbed the dog multiple times with a butcher's knife in west Houston.
According to the Houston Police Department, doctors say the surgery went well and are hopeful for a full recovery. They said Nate should be able to go home with his handler within a few days.
Investigators said Nate has several cuts but the most threatening wound is a gash to his abdomen. Satterwhite said the dog lost a lot of blood during transport, but veterinarians are hopeful he'll have a full recovery.
Nate is expected to be out for the next 4 to 6 weeks while he heals, according to an official close to the matter.
It all started when police recieved a call just before 8 a.m. about a man attempting to carjack two people.
The suspect reportedly left that scene and went to a nearby H-E-B, where Satterwhite said he stole a phone charger and then fled, again.
Police eventually found the suspect in a parking garage near Yale and the Katy Freeway. They set up a perimeter, but they say the suspect jumped apartment complex parking garages and made his way back on a street.
When officers caught up with the suspect, a foot chase began.
Investigators said Nate caught the man behind a building just out of sight of officers. An officer reported hearing a yelp from ‘Nate.’
The officer caught up to the scene and noticed the suspect had been holding a large butcher knife and had apparently just stabbed Nate. The officers gave commands to the suspect, who threw down the knife.
Police were able to get the suspect in custody.
“I believe Nate was wearing a vest at the time…but then again, it doesn’t cover the whole body,” Satterwhite said. “And there’s always risks.”
Satterwhite said the Harris County District Attorney's Office has accepted charges of aggravated robbery, evading arrest and aggravated assault of a peace officer.
The victims of the first robbery were checked out by paramedics. Satterwhite said they only suffered minor injuries. No word of any other officers being injured.
Nate is a 4-year-old Malinois who has served with the department the last three years. He became a SWAT officer dog just two years ago.
"Nate's on the team. Nate's a partner," Satterwhite said. "He's in our family, so we're going to come out and support every way we can."
The Harris County Pct. 4 Constable's Office says its praying for Nate.
"Prayers for a speedy recovery, we know his resilience will help with a perfect recovery," the constable's office tweeted.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez also tweeted his support for Nate.
"Send your prayers to this K9 family #hero. Injured while protecting his community," Gonzalez said.