2018-09-19

Police dog Davis takes down first suspect after foot chase in Bridgewater

by Keith Corcoran

The September 10 arrest of a suspect wanted in relation to alleged violent crimes in town marks a milestone for Bridgewater's four-legged officer.

It's the first time Davis, the municipal police department's first full-time canine member, pursued and took a suspect to the ground on his own.

While the three year old German Shepherd, on-duty since 2016, has been instrumental in cases involving tracking suspects and sniffing out evidence, it's the first time he chased and hauled down a suspect; catching up to a man accused of threat and assault offences near a Davison Drive mini mall complex, and who was allegedly running away from police.

"This was his first contact with anybody," Sgt. Danny MacPhee, Bridgewater Police's acting deputy chief said of Davis. "That would be a first time that we've actually used him to physically make an arrest."

With the arrest ended a manhunt that started about an hour earlier on the town's east side.

Police were having trouble finding their suspect until about 8 p.m. when officers on patrol noticed a man running whom they believed was the individual they sought.

The suspect was seen on streets in a subdivision close to the hospital and at least two uniformed officers could be seen sprinting down a sidewalk near an Aberdeen Road apartment building.

Davis' services - and that of his handler Cst. Morgan Gibson - were called upon when safety risks increased.

"Whenever we get anyone going into a wooded area with, obviously, a history of violence and all the violent offences ... we're not going to run through bushes to find somebody," MacPhee told LighthouseNOW. "So that's why we got the dog service when we go for things like that."

The man was taken into custody near dumpsters by a flooring business. He sustained minor injuries to his arm, police said. Paramedics were called to the scene but no one was taken to hospital by ambulance. A person seated in the back of a police cruiser could be heard shouting racial slurs and at one point was seen kicking a window guard that prevents a car window from being smashed.

Joseph Christopher McGregor, 49, of Bridgewater was wearing a torn shirt during appearances in court last week. He was remanded in custody until at least next month. He's scheduled to undergo a medical assessment to determine fitness to stand trial and criminal responsibility.

McGregor is charged with resisting arrest related to a September 10 alleged incident. He's also accused of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and uttering threats on July 10 and assault and uttering threats on September 7. The alleged assaults involve the same woman.

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