Omaha police K-9 injured by suspect returns for duty

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OMAHA, Neb. (OPD Press Release) - An Omaha police K-9 is back on duty after he was struck by a suspect holding a metal pipe. Tuesday, a veterinarian gave Tye a checkup and released him. He'll return to full duty with Omaha Police.

On Friday, police were called to eastbound Interstate 80 near South 42nd Street around 5:30 p.m. where a man carrying a pipe and a broken glass bottle was walking westbound in traffic. Officers approached and ordered the man to drop the items and get off the highway, but he raised the pipe in an aggressive manner and made gestures for the officers to shoot him.

Police called for a TASER and K-9 unit. In the meantime, the suspect ran off the interstate, then began throwing rocks at the officers, hitting one.

A TASER was eventually used, but was ineffective. When the police dog was sent after the man, he struck the dog with the pipe. Another TASER was used and this time helped officers get the man under control.

Twenty-four-year-old Edgar Garcia-Herrera was taken to Nebraska Medicine for treatment of minor injuries, then booked for assault on an officer, four counts of attempted assault on an officer, destruction of property, obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest.

Nebraska State Patrol troopers blocked eastbound I-80 traffic until the situation was resolved.

"It's hard to see him go through it, but his demeanor is he's happy-go-lucky and he just wants to go back out and work and keep us safe," said OPD officer Jodi Sautter.

Tye, one of nine police canines, was named for OPD officer Jason "Tye" Pratt, killed in the line of duty in 2003.