Ashtabula County K-9 hurt during dirt bike chase

JEFFERSON, Ohio - A man on a dirt bike runs over a K-9 police officer, which sent the dog to surgery.

"He had a look in his eye like 'I'm not going to jail today and I'm going to do whatever I have to do to get away,'" said Ashtabula County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Mino. Mino said 28-year-old Dale Light didn't get far.

"It proved to me, that my partner is definitely my partner," Mino said.

Mino said he and his K-9 partner of four years, Nala, went to arrest Light on a felony warrant after spotting him and a stolen dirt bike at an Ashtabula County home.

He said Light tried to run and when he was cornered, he got on the bike and sped towards them running into the dog.

"I thought she got her foot caught in the rear wheel of the bike and it severed her leg because the amount of blood coming out of her foot," Mino said. Even injured, Mino said the dog tried to get Light off the bike.

"She ended up getting him right in the ankle. She was pulling him one way, while we were fighting and she never let go," he said.

The leg wasn't severed, but Nala was hurt.

"A solid cut straight through her paw, and it was peeled back like a banana," said Mino.

Nala needed surgery, stitches, and is out of work for 10 days.

Light will face charges for assaulting a police K-9, assaulting an officer, obstructing justice and receiving stolen property.

"He injured my partner purposely, and I take that to heart," he said.

The money used to take care of Nala and the other two K-9s at the department comes strictly from donations. Injuries like Nala's can deplete the funds quickly.

Mino hopes the community stands behind Nala like they would any other injured officer.

"I wouldn't want to go to work without her. It breaks my heart to work now without her," he said.

If you want to donate to the fund that pays to take care of Nala and the other two K-9 officers, contact the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office.

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