Butler County deputy able to release K-9 from vehicle during struggle with suspect who threw knife at him

Butler County sheriff deputies responded to a reported scuffle in Lemon Twp. at Speedway on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Butler County sheriff deputies responded to a reported scuffle in Lemon Twp. at Speedway on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

A Butler County Sheriff deputy and his K-9 partner walked away with minor injuries after a scuffle with a man at a Lemon Twp. business today.

The man is in an area hospital charged with assault on a police officer after the incident about 3:45 p.m. at Speedway on Oxford State and Main Street.

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The deputy, James Davenport, responded to the busy store for a report of a man running around in the parking lot, screaming and possibly on drugs or having a mental issue, according to Sgt. Jason Rosser.

When asked if he had any weapons on him, the man pulled a knife out of his pocket and threw it at the deputy.

“At that time the deputy wanted to detain him for his own safety and the safety of those around him,” Rosser said.

The deputy attempted to handcuff the man and “he went completely ballistic. He started to bite the deputy,” Rosser said.

The deputy struggled on the ground with the man until he was able to get one handcuff on.

“He (the suspect) tried to barrel roll the deputy, and the deputy was able to deploy his K-9 from his vehicle while he was struggling with the individual,” Rosser said. “He was able to release the door so the K-9 was able to come and assist the deputy.”

The dog, Radi, bit the suspect, who kicked the K-9 in the head, according to the sheriff’s office.

Rosser said neither the officer nor the dog had to seek extra medical help after an initial assessment some minor injuries.

The suspect, Jessie Dennis, 40, was issued a citation for assault of a police dog, and more charges could come later. The name of the deputy will be released tomorrow after investigation is completed, Rosser said.