Lake County Sheriff’s Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Cause of Death: Animal related
Incident Location: Lake County
Handler: Officer Brian Harpp
K9 Fax died after being attacked by a pit bull while protecting his handler and another officer in a wooded field a quarter-mile south of 49th Avenue and Wilson Street in Calumet Township.
The two officers were checking the area, commonly used to dump stolen vehicles and set them on fire, at about 12:30 am when they observed a man sitting in a car. As they approached the subject, he suddenly turned on his bright lights and drove directly towards the officers, who ordered him to stop at gunpoint. As they attempted to talk to him, a large pit bull came out of the vehicle and began attacking K9 Fax and his handler. After several minutes of being ordered to control his animal, he pulled the dog into his truck.
As the officers attempted to place the 38-year-old subject under arrest, he began to struggle. The pit bull jumped out of the truck and again began attacking K9 Fax, who suffered serious injuries, and his handler. The other officer was able to fatally shoot the pit bull.
K9 Fax was taken to a local veterinary clinic where he underwent surgery, but died a short time later of a heart attack.
The suspect was charged with criminal mischief.
K9 Fax, a male German Shepherd, had served with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department for six years.