Broward County Sheriff’s police dog killed in shootout in Florida

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

A man shot and killed a Broward County Sheriff's Office police dog in Miami Beach after a two-county chase in Florida early Thursday morning.

The shooter, Delvin Lewis, 27, was firing shots at his girlfriend during a domestic dispute in Oakland Park. When police arrived, the suspect got into his car and fled, engaging roughly 20 cruisers in a 30-mile chase which ended near Mount Sinai Medical Center's emergency room in Miami Beach. An exchange of gunfire followed in which Lewis reportedly killed the dog. ER doctors tried to save the animal but it was too late.

The shooter was also struck and has been taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he remains with no life threatening injuries.

According to a Mount Sinai spokeswoman hospital facilities are now accessible after the authorities locked down the area for three hours following the shooting.

Lewis has been arrested 26 times by Florida authorities including one in July 2003 in which he injured a police dog striking him repeatedly on the head with a cellphone. The suspect has been charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer with violence and principal in the death of a police dog.

Hitting a police dog is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in jail, while killing a police officer is a capital offense which can lead to the death penalty.

Miami-Dade Police Department is handling the investigation which involves Broward Sheriff Office and Miami Beach police.

Lewis has been in and out of jail since 2000 and had been arrested for domestic battery in 2000 and 2004, when he beat a pregnant woman.

The dog, whose name was Oozi, was a 7-1/2 years old Belgian Malinois assigned to BSO's Cooper City district. He was trained in narcotics and helped in hundreds of arrests in his career, including 35 this year.

Oozi and his partner, Deputy Gerald Wengert, were named BSO's Employees of the month in May for their role in the apprehension of three burglary suspects.


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