2004-12-09 / Front Page

DOG TAKES BITE OUT OF LOCAL CRIME

By Charles Rogers

Police are especially proud of their Emergency Service Unit’s K-9 Divi-sion, and justly so. The police dogs have been responsible for not only assisting in search and rescue tasks, but they also help in finding and ar-resting alleged burglars and other bad guys.

Witness a recent incident here where a police dog — a German shepherd by the name of Oz — sniffed out and captured one of three alleged burglars who were rifling a house on East 89 Street near Seaview Avenue.

According to a report filed at the 69th Precinct, patrol officers responded to a call of a possible burglary in progress at 12:30 a.m. on November 28. When they arrived, they were met by the landlord of the private house who told them he heard sounds coming from a second floor apartment and called his tenant, who was at work. The tenant told him no one was supposed to be in the apartment and asked him to call police.

The police officers also heard a loud noise come from the apartment and, when they saw a man stick his head out of the window, called for backup.

The NYPD Emergency Service Unit, along with Police Officer Pat Lascala and his trusty K-9 Oz were called by Sergeant Alan Simmons, patrol supervisor.

The ESU officers conducted a search of the exterior of the house and, determining the intruder or in-truders were still on the premises, decided to put the K-9 unit to use.

Police spokesman Sergeant Michael Occurro said Lascala and Oz entered the second floor apartment and stood at the door for a moment.

“The officer made two announcements that he was present with a trained dog and that the dog would be released if they refused to come out of hiding,” said Sergeant Simmons. “There was no response and Officer Lascala released the dog to conduct a search.”

Almost immediately, Oz grabbed one of the alleged burglars as he hid in a rear bedroom and two other suspects came out with their hands up and surrendered.

Gerald Little, 20, of East 88 Street was arrested and charged with burglary. The names of the other two men were not released.

Little was taken to the Foster Ave-nue station house where he was treated by Emergency Medical Service paramedics for puncture wounds and lacerations to his left ankle. The paramedics then took him to Brookdale Hospital for further evaluation, Simmons said.

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