Suspect bites police dog's snout in bizarre Surrey crime spree
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 1:13PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 17, 2017 7:03PM PDT
A man facing several charges following a bizarre series of events in Surrey is alleged to have bitten a police dog during his arrest.
Police were initially alerted to a pickup truck on fire around 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3200-block of 176th Street.
Witnesses said they saw a man pushing a wheelbarrow away from the burning vehicle.
The man was gone when officers arrived at the scene of the still-burning truck, but they recognized the vehicle as one that was stolen from the Maple Ridge area last week, and that had eluded police earlier in the day.
Police had been looking for the pickup, which they say may be connected to a series of break-and-enter cases where firearms had been stolen.
With the help of a police dog, Mounties scoured the area where the man was last seen and began to track him northbound on 176th.
As officers followed the man's trail, residents made calls to the RCMP to report a man – matching the description of their suspect – running through their backyards, and attempting to take their vehicles and force his way into homes.
The man then stole a bicycle from one of the homes, and used it to ride away through the surrounding blueberry fields, Mounties said.
That’s when he turned up on Belle Longiye's driveway.
"He just rode past our gate, very casually. And I said ‘Get off my property!’” she recalled to CTV News on Monday.
“He throws his bike, starts running for the door, I scream."
Longiye, who had her 15-month-old nephew in her arms, ran into her parents bathroom, locked the door, and called 911. She says she heard loud banging outside – what she assumed was the suspect trying to break in the front door.
"I was crying, my nephew was crying, we're both shaking, and I just think: 'We're going to die. How am I going to protect him if I die?'"
Longiye says the suspect kicked another door down, then hid in a downstairs rental unit for another 10 minutes.
When he tried to escape he was taken into custody after a scuffle with both a police dog and officers.
"He actually bit the police dog (on its snout)," Cpl. Scotty Schumann said, adding that police dogs are trained to become even more aggressive when a suspect fights back.
RCMP say the suspect is a 37-year-old man from Surrey, and was previously known to police. Schumann said the suspect will be facing "a number of serious charges" and was expected to appear in court Monday.
Mounties thanked the public for their calls, which helped officers locate the suspect.
The truck has been seized, Schumann said, but police are not providing further details on what was found inside as their investigation into the break-and-enter allegations continues.
"That link still needs to be determined, so at this point, any evidence that we gather from this vehicle, or from the suspect, we're kind of keeping that close to ourselves in case it may prove to be of some evidentiary value in the future," he said.