Tampa cop and his K9 partner set on fire during violent arrest
A Tampa Bay police officer and his K9 partner are both recovering after a man threw flaming liquid at them during a violent arrest last Thursday.
According to the Tampa Bay Police Department, officers received a call of a possible burglary in progress at a residence in central Tampa Bay around 10:40 p.m. Thursday.
When they arrived, officers discovered a window on the side of the home had been smashed. Police say they also recognized a vehicle outside the home as belonging to a man wanted on outstanding warrants.
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Three officers including Tim Bergman and his K9 partner Indo entered the home and encountered a suspect. Police say Indo engaged the suspect, who attempted to set the dog and Berman on fire with a flammable liquid.
“He’s got it in a container of some sort, and starts tossing it at the dog and the officer,” Tampa Bay Police spokesman Steve Hegarty told The Tampa Bay Times.
Police say Bergman, fearing for his safety and that of his partner, opened fire on the suspect, hitting him once.
Police were later able to identify the flaming substance as “Kilz” brand primer. Bergman was able to pat out the fire on his body without suffering serious burns, but Indo wasn’t quite as lucky, receiving burns on his head and face.
Both Bergman and Indo are expected to make a full recovery. So too is the suspect, who police say was taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
“Clearly there’s a bond you know, that you and I probably have no idea how deep that is between the K9 officer and the dog,” Hegarty told WFLA News in Tampa Bay.