On July 15th, at approximately 10:22 pm, Madison police officers attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation. The car was slow to pull over. When it finally did stop the front seat passenger fled immediately from the traffic stop. Officers immediately set up a perimeter around the area the suspect was seen fleeing. Officer Eric Disch and K9 Jagger were summoned to track the fleeing subject.
Our police K9s are trained to scent discriminate. They're trained to track a specific person by their scent. The dogs are presented an article that contains the scent we want them to track and they are trained to track that scent until it ends. In this case, Officer Disch did not have a scent article to track the suspect, but we can "create" scent articles using sterile gauge and placing them on objects the subject touched. In this instance, the front passenger seat where the person was sitting in prior to running was the perfect object.
Once prepared, the scent article was presented to Jagger and he immediately began tracking the suspect. Jagger tracked along a sidewalk for a distance and then turned and began tracking up a grassy embankment with several trees and tall grass. Officer Disch observed Jagger's behavior change as they were closing in on the subject. Based on this observation, Officer Disch gave a loud announcement letting anyone close to them(the suspect) know officers were there with a police K9. Upon hearing the announcment, the suspect, who had been concealed along a fence line in 6-7 foot grass, stood up and was compliantly taken into custody without incident.
Why would a passenger run from a traffic stop? In this case, the suspect had a felony warrant and two other charges pending from an unrelated incident. This well-coordinated response by all of the officers involved led to this suspect being successfully located and arrested.