K-9 Ricky

Mishawaka Police Department

End of Watch: Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

Incident Location: St. Joseph County

Handler: Corporal James Szuba (killed)

K-9 Ricky and his handler, Corporal James Szuba, were killed when their squad car was struck while assisting with a pursuit.

At about 9:20 pm, Corporal Szuba was proceeding northbound on Byrkit Avenue as it turns into Fir Road when his squad car was sideswiped by a drunken driver being pursued by another officer. The suspect had swerved around a vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Highway when he hit the oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and K-9 Ricky, who were both killed instantly.

The 31-year-old suspect, who had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit, was on probation for an 18-month sentence for delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. He was later convicted and sentenced to 32½ years for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, resisting law enforcement and possession of controlled substances.