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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

County K-9 officer injured during arrest

Monday, May 5, 2008

Clay County Sheriff's Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke and K-9 Officer Forrest have been partners since Sept. 26, 2006.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton has confirmed that K-9 Officer Forrest was injured early Monday morning during an arrest.

"While attempting to subdue a suspect, Forrest sustained bruising and swelling around his head and nose area," Heaton told The Brazil Times about the dog's visit to the veterinarian. "Forrest will be under medical care and observation for the next five to seven days, while Josh makes sure that he can eat."

According to Heaton, damages to the nerves in the muzzle of a drug dog can be critical.

"If he's injured badly, his entire working potential could be in jeopardy," Heaton said. "Forrest wouldn't be able to work anymore and the county, and its citizens, would be out $11,000."

Because the sheriff department's drug dog program is fully funded by community donations, Heaton said the department would seek restitution if the suspect in the case is convicted.

Shortly before midnight Sunday, an unidentified homeowner called 911 dispatchers to report they were able to get the license plate number of the truck that just hit their home at 1378 West County Road 800 South and drove off. The damage was contained to one area on the outside of the home, but the impact knocked items off shelves inside the home.

As deputies were being dispatched to the scene, a second caller informed authorities a truck was located down a farm lane, blowing its horn for unknown reasons.

No one was in the truck when the deputies arrived, but blood and firearms were found inside the vehicle.

After detecting a scent, Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke and K-9 Officer Forrest tracked down Brandon Riggle, 27, Clay City, hiding in a brush pile under some weeds.

After Riggle refused several orders by Clarke to come out and show his hands, K-9 Forrest was sent to get him out.

Riggle allegedly began hitting Forrest repeatedly in the head. Calling off Forrest, Clarke attempted to gain control of Riggle, but he still fought. Forrest assisted a second time.

Once in custody, Riggle was transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital where he was treated and released for injuries sustained in the accident and minor injuries during his arrest.

Riggle was taken into custody upon his release from the hospital and booked into the Clay County Justice Center on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, battery and resisting law enforcement.

Jail officials confirmed Monday evening that Riggle remains incarcerated while awaiting formal arraignment per court schedule.

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This is horrible. I hope this guy rots in jail. Forrest is a great K-9. Our prayers go out to Forrest for a speedy and full recovery. How horrible would it be to lose him on the force!

-- Posted by BrazilScholarly on Mon, May 5, 2008, at 11:17 PM

get better soon Forrest

-- Posted by nhs_princess_09 on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 4:20 AM

Get better soon Forrest!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 7:36 AM

It takes a big man to beat up a dog. Good job, Brandon! SHEESH! Best wishes and speedy recovery to FORREST!!

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 10:27 AM

Glad the responding officers (human and canine) were not seriously harmed.

Hopefully Forrest will recover his scent abbilities and not have to be retired.

Good job fellas!

-- Posted by BowlingGreenGuy on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 1:46 PM

Speedy recovery to Deputy Clarke & Forrest. As for the suspect, I could care less if he recovers!

-- Posted by th1953 on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 2:53 PM

Alcohol can do bad things to good people, I am not trying to defend Brandon, but I do think that saying things like "I hope this guy rots in jail." may be a bit harsh. Thank God no one was seriously injured. I am sure that once sobered up Brandon is seriuosly regretful for the entire incident and hopefully this will be a wake up call for him. I do feel though that he is a good guy, but made bad decisions and for that he needs to be punished. There are a lot of situations in clay county recently that can be attributed to alcohol, it is really sad.

-- Posted by IMHO on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 3:59 PM

Our heartfelt feelings go out to Forrest and his handler. I hope after this guy sits in jail for awhile that he is forced to VOLUNTEER at the human shelter for the rest of his life!

-- Posted by animal supporter on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 8:39 PM

For all you perfect people who have never made mistakes in your life, when your time does come, may you too "rot alone in jail". While my heart goes out to the dog, we are also talking about a human being here. Actually, we are talking about a really good guy who did a really terrible thing. He is paying for it right now in jail, and will continue paying for it for the rest of his life. Isn't that enough?

-- Posted by claycitygirl on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 4:48 PM

I do not know this man, but I do wonder if this is his first offense. If it is, then why not get over being self-righteousness and let him learn from his mistake? Alcohol makes people do crazy things, and sometimes it takes just one mistake to set a person right. Even if he has had a prior offense, I wouldn't want him to rot in jail.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 8:13 PM

In response to Bigpappy, yes this is his first time offense. I used to know Brandon quite well and he really is a good guy, but has made a very stupid mistake (it happens to the best of them). I am sure glad no one was seriously injured and that Forrest will be fine. With that being said, I know of a lot of people who have gotten DUIs along with other similar or worse charges and have not had anywhere near $7000 cash bail, that seems extremely steep to me. I like Claycitygirls comment to about all the 'perfect people' on the board. I have never done anything like Brandon, but I know I have had my share of mistakes as well in life and I can just imagine what you all might have to say about me. My sunday school teacher (a very Christian lady) has said numerous times that the only difference between her and the inmates sitting in jail is one bad choice. Cut the guy a break, who are you to judge him? I thought that was the Big Guy's job at the end.

-- Posted by IMHO on Thu, May 8, 2008, at 11:21 AM

We can't blaim it on alcohol. Who decided to drink in excess? Our tax dollars can't go to things, such as this dog, and then be retired or damaged by drunks. This guy is trash and needs to be locked up in jail for a while. I don't know him, and don't want to know him. He should also have to pay all the vet bills and any other money the county is out.

-- Posted by BrazilScholarly on Thu, May 8, 2008, at 4:28 PM

Big Pappy, perhaps I don't know Brandon as well as you do, but I believe he has had at least one prior DUI. I find it really sickening that anyone would defend his actions. He put lives in danger with his recklessness. What if he had crashed into a sleeping baby's bedroom rather than an empty room in the middle of the night? And he admits to trying to hurt the dog, which is horrible in itself, let alone that it would cost taxpayers a lot of money to replace him. Forrest has been a real asset to the community and Riggle deserves to be punished severely. "Really good guys" simply do not do things like this. It's not like he just spilled a drink on someone.

-- Posted by bsmom on Fri, May 9, 2008, at 7:11 AM

Sorry Big Pappy, I was responding to you, but I meant to say, I don't know Brandon as well as IMHO claims to.

-- Posted by bsmom on Fri, May 9, 2008, at 7:14 AM

bsmom.....Thanks for the correction! I was beginning to think I didn't know how to type. As I said, I don't know Riggle. I was merely wondering if it was his first offense.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Fri, May 9, 2008, at 11:36 PM

Are we so concerned about the dog that we are ignoring that there was blood and firearms found inside the vehico?

-- Posted by yubantode on Sat, May 10, 2008, at 7:17 PM

The fine doesn't seem fit enough. Assaulting a police dog is the same as assaulting a policer officer. This man also had a choice to drink and then get in a vehicle. Sorry, but I think we should stop giving people the benefit of the doubt and let them take responsibility for their actions. What if it had been a police officer that he started beating in the head??

-- Posted by brazil99 on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 8:13 AM

Most police K-9s are commissioned officers for their departments. Therefore, they ARE officers. I don't know about BPDs policy on this however. I think another charge should definately be filed for battery on a police officer.

-- Posted by maybe on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 2:14 PM

get better soon forest. And this guy deserves everything he got. I mean he is old enough to know not to drink then get into a car, he couldve killed someone.

-- Posted by nhs_babe_2011 on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 2:42 PM

Who is the commissioner that thought it would be a good idea to suspend him from work and pay his insurance? This guy was drunk, he endangered a family, people on the road, a K-9 officer, and a uniformed police officer....and the commissioners reward him by paying his health insurance. I hope Paul Sinders, Charlie Browne, and the other commissioner will stand up in November and admit they are responsible for wasting the tax payers money on health insurance for a county employee who was breaking the law. There will be no need for this guy to ride a scooter...we will put him back in the seat of a twenty ton county truck for his personal transportation.

-- Posted by Lafin on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 9:27 PM

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