Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison and Captain Dave Archer were at the hospital while Patrolman/K-9 Handler Kenny Hill underwent surgery at Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, Thursday afternoon.
"After he was stabilized at Terre Haute Regional Hospital, the doctor who was going to perform the surgery said it was best to get him to Methodist," Archer said. "He said the orthopedic surgeons there were the best at repairing this type of injury. The doctors there repair racecar drivers injuries, and they would be the best to help Kenny."
Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors performed a CAT scan and discovered that Hill also sustained a fractured right hip in the pelvis area from the impact of the collision with a tree.
Hill required reconstructive surgery to repair the injuries he sustained in the accident. Doctors used a metal rod to repair the compound fracture to his left shin. Screws were used to repair, and hopefully save his left foot, which was torn backwards from his leg.
"Doctors are hopeful Kenny will make a full recovery," Harrison said, adding that Hill could face future surgeries to repair an open wound. "They want to get him up as soon as possible."
Shortly before 3:30 a.m. Thursday, an unidentified off duty officer provided a tip on the whereabouts of Mark Rissler, 20, Brazil. Officials had been looking for Rissler, who has an outstanding arrest warrant for a probation violation on drug charges.
Patrolman/K-9 Handler Kenny Hill was assisted by Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Josh Krause in initiating a traffic stop on State Road 42 on a vehicle driven by Rissler. There was also an unidentified passenger inside Rissler's vehicle.
After Rissler presented his driver's license to Hill, who opened the vehicle's door so the suspect could exit for questioning, Rissler drove off, dragging Hill for approximately 30-40 feet before he could get free.
Hill got back in his police cruiser, with Krause following in his, and pursued Rissler along SR 42 to an area near County Road 400 East, where Hill's vehicle hit a patch of ice, spun, went off the road and struck a tree.
K-9 Officer Anya was bumped and banged around inside her kennel carrier inside the vehicle during the collision, but sustained no visible injuries. However, the experience has taken an emotional toll on her.
Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke assisted in taking care of Anya at the scene.
"By all appearances, Anya is doing well at this time," Clarke said, but added that symptoms of internal injuries could take a few days before they appear. "The kennel carrier helped protect her from being injured during the accident."
Plans are to continue her training once she has been taken to a veterinarian to be checked out and cleared to return to work.
"God was looking out for Kenny and Anya this morning," Archer said. "The department is grateful he is OK and are also very appreciative of all the calls from the public expressing their thoughts and prayers for his recovery."
Although facing a shortage of manpower, Harrison said officers have volunteered to cover Hill's shifts while he recuperates, which could be a while.
"The doctors said they would have had him up on his leg walking within a few days, but the hip fracture will slow down the recovery process," Harrison said. "If all goes well, he could be released from the hospital as early as this weekend."
In the meantime, authorities are still searching for Rissler, who is considered a dangerous fugitive.
To report information about the whereabouts of Rissler, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535 or the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.