When a man was seen wielding an axe in a quiet Nottinghamshire street, anxious residents naturally called police.
PC Matt Rogers and his dog Rossi arrived at Bentinck Close, Boughton, moments later and residents watched in their pyjamas as the Belgian Shepherd/Malinois cross sprang into action and disarmed the suspect.
Rossi leapt 8ft into the air and grabbed the 2.7kg axe in his mouth before spitting it out and detaining Adrian Dowdall so PC Rogers could make an arrest.
The 36-year-old, of Bentinck Close, Boughton, was jailed after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in public. He was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court last Friday (31st May 2013) to 160 days in jail.
Judge Michael Stokes praised seven-year-old Rossi’s bravery during the incident.
The 32kg pooch and handler PC Rogers had been on patrol in Ollerton in the early hours of 24 November 2012 when they got the call.
PC Rogers said: “When we arrived there were no signs of a disturbance. I was going to get out and have a quick look on my own, but because it was such a nice night I decided to get Rossi out to stretch his legs.
“It wasn’t long before we saw our target.
“Rossi is trained to detain offenders, not disarm them. I think he thought it was a toy. It happened in an instant. He went straight for it, spat it out and detained the man.
“It was only afterwards that I realised the gravity of the situation. It was quite a big axe.
“Rossi just loves the job so much that he sees no limits.
“Once we’d made the arrest that I noticed we’d had an audience with a number of residents having come out of their homes in their pyjamas to watch.
“This case just shows how effective and important police dogs can be.”
PC Rogers has had Rossi since he was 14-months-old and he’s now looking forward to spoiling him rotten when he retires in September.
He said: “He’s a big dog and has got a few health issues these days, but this job just shows he’s still got it in him.
“Once he retires I’ll be keeping him to make sure he’s looked after and given all the care he needs.”