Sheriff's deputy and canine partner first to take down suspect - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sheriff's deputy and canine partner first to take down murder suspect

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Troy Simmons, and his canine partner, Dodger Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Troy Simmons, and his canine partner, Dodger
Simmons attempts to bust out the window of the suspect's truck at the conclusion of Thursday's chase. Simmons attempts to bust out the window of the suspect's truck at the conclusion of Thursday's chase.

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - When a murder suspect from Alabama finally stopped his vehicle Thursday after leading pursuing law enforcement across the city, a Mid-South sheriff's deputy and his partner were ready.

Thursday's pursuit ended quickly on Riverside Drive, thanks in part to the work of Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Troy Simmons, and his canine partner, Dodger.

"It just so happened to be at the right time, at the right place," Simmons said Friday.

Simmons was the first officer person to approach murder suspect Justin Denson when Thursday's pursuit ended.  Denson led police officers and sheriff's deputies around Memphis for more than 30 minutes before he came to a stop on Riverside Drive.

"You just gotta react," Simmons said. "You don't really have time to think."

When Denson refused to exit his vehicle, uncertain about his intentions, Simmons forced the truck's door open and let Dodger do the rest.  The dog clamped down on Denson's left leg, and removed him from the truck.

"It's a good think it happened like it did," Simmons said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Denson escaped his encounter with Dodger suffering from bite marks on his left leg.  He was quickly treated and released from The Med, and taken to 201 Poplar.

Simmons was proud of his canine partner.

"It was a special day, because we were watched over, obviously," he said.

Even after working together for eight years, Dodger and Simmons train together about an hour a day.  The pair are together nearly all the time.

For Dodger, the end of Thursday's pursuit was just another day on the job.

"He's a friend a partner, someone you love like it was your own child," Simmons said.

Friday, Denson remained in the Shelby County Jail as a fugitive from justice.  He's due to appear in court Monday morning.

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