Melissa Walsh

K-9s nab suspects in home invasion

Grosse Pointe News | January 4th, 2018 | Grosse Pointe News - Jan. 4, 2018

Gpn k9s nab suspects copy

K-9s nab suspects in home invasion By Melissa Walsh

HARPER WOODS — Police K-9 units — Kaiser of Harper Woods and Duke of Grosse Pointe Farms — caught two suspects following a home invasion and non-fatal shooting of a dog shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, in the 19700 block of Country Club in Harper Woods.

Harper Woods public safety officers responded to the 911 call from the homeowner, who managed to exit the house after two adult males forced entry through a side door. The victim reported the men confronted him and another man at gunpoint, demanding they tell them where marijuana was in the house. When the homeowner’s dog responded by jumping on the men, one of the men shot the dog. The man visiting the home led the suspects to money and a garbage bag of marijuana in the basement.

Responding officers, observing the suspects fleeing by vehicle, stopped them on Merlin and King Richard streets in Detroit. When the suspects fled on foot, Harper Woods Officer Steve Johnson released Kaiser, who quickly caught one of the suspects.

As part of mutual-aid support from Grosse Pointe public safety departments, Duke arrived with handler Officer Tim Harris to assist in the pursuit of the second suspect.

“Within two houses, Kaiser got the driver. He was taken into custody....” Harper Woods Public Safety Director James Burke said. “We searched the area for the second suspect with Grosse Pointe officers and Duke. He was found 10 houses away from the car. It was a great effort. The K-9s worked together really well.”

As Kaiser conducted an article search for a firearm, Duke and Harris followed north on Britain from King Richard, where the suspect was seen fleeing. Duke initiated a track in the 10300 block of Britain, leading to the alley between Britain and Merlin and a backyard in the 10400 block of Merlin. Duke found a large black bag of marijuana, then pulled north to another backyard on the same block and led Harris to the front porch where the suspect was lying and using a cell phone.

K-9 police dogs like Kaiser and Duke are trained to smell skin cells. Because adrenaline and sweat leave a strong odor, the dogs can track a running suspect who is sweating in freezing temperatures, as the second suspect was. In an article search — such as for a rearm — a police dog is trained to sniff out human scent left on the article.

“Scent freezes at certain temperatures,” said Harris. “So there’s nothing there for them to track. But if it’s been just a few minutes they can.”

Harris explained there are three environmental factors in a K-9’s tracking success: time, temperature and terrain. In locating the second suspect, the short time supported success. Because Harris commanded Duke to track the person, rather than a drug, Duke continued aggressively to pursue the second suspect even after nding the bag of marijuana.

“This was a great example of how effective K-9 units can be in the community — getting two dangerous (men) off the streets,” Burke said.

Friday, Jan. 5, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy brought felony charges against the two suspects — Michael Jason Gadie, 42, of Warren, and Timothy Wade Horton, 48, of Detroit. Gadie is charged with armed robbery; home invasion, first degree; felon in possession; animals – torturing/killing; delivery/manufacture of marijuana/synthetic equivalents; felony rearm – five counts; police officer – assaulting/resisting/obstructing; and animals – abandoning/cruelty to one animal. Horton is charged with armed robbery; home invasion, first degree; delivery/manufacture of marijuana/synthetic equivalents; and police officer – assaulting/resisting obstructing.

“Kaiser’s been extremely active the last several months,” Burke said. “This was one amazing job by Officer Johnson and Kaiser, an amazing piece of work by all the officers and the K-9s. I appreciate the support we received by the Grosse Pointe public safety departments, our mutual aid partners. I appreciate their willingness to drop everything and help us if we need help."

The canine victim survived the shooting.

Editor Jody McVeigh contributed to this report.