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K-9 Castorka ‘Cas’

Whitley County Sheriff’s Department
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Handler:
Deputy Sheriff Gary Archbold

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Vehicular assault
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
03:30 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
U.S. 30 and County Road 450 West
Incident County:
Whitley
Incident Township:
Richland
Weapon Used:
Motor vehicle
Suspect Disposition:
Sentenced to 12½ years
(currently incarcerated)

K-9 Castorka was killed as a result of an 18-mile, high-speed pursuit through two counties on U.S. 30 involving a stolen vehicle.

An Indiana state trooper began pursuing a vehicle west of Warsaw, in Kosciusko County, that had been reported stolen during an armed carjacking in Plymouth, in Marshall County. When the vehicle was stopped in Warsaw, the passenger exited but the driver sped away and continued eastbound.

As the vehicle approached County Road 450 West where Stop Sticks had been deployed, the driver swerved and broadsided the squad car that K-9 Castorka occupied on its passenger side. It was pushed into the westbound lanes where it became engulfed in fire. K-9 Castorka was not able to be removed from the squad car and died at the scene.

The 31-year-old male driver was charged with numerous felonies. In a plea agreement, he was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and 2½ years for operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance causing death of a law enforcement animal. The charges for resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness were dismissed.

He was also charged with felonies in Marshall County regarding the earlier carjacking. He was subsequently convicted by a jury and sentenced to 26 years in prison for armed robbery as a habitual offender and 2½ years for auto theft. The charges of theft and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon were dismissed.

K-9 Castorka, a 3-year-old female Belgium Malinois/German Shepherd mix, had served with the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department and Columbia City Police Department for two years.

Historical Note
K-9 Castorka is the first known female K-9 law enforcement line of duty death in Indiana.

View all fallen officers from the
Whitley County Sheriff’s Department