HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - WLOX News learned Thursday that Hancock County Sheriff's Department K9 Lucas was injured during the assault on his handler, Deputy Todd Fraizer.
As we told you last week, Fraizer was attacked by two men as he stopped to question the driver of a suspicious vehicle parked at a roadside rest stop on Old Highway 90 in Pearlington. The K9's injuries were so severe, they could end Lucas' law enforcement career.
Sheriff Ricky Adam said the K9 deputy is being credited with saving his handler's life and sustaining serious injuries during the struggle with the two men who ambushed Fraizer.
"His K9 suffered a shoulder injury and injuries to his teeth. We would imagine as he had a hold of them, they were dragging him with the car or hanging him out of the car or slamming the door on him. So, it's hard to tell exactly what happened, but we know that he does have quite a few broken teeth," said Adam.
The sheriff said in addition to the K9's leg and shoulder injury, Lucas is also recovering from asphalt burns from being dragged along the roadway.
You may recall, deputies said two of the suspects had Fraizer in a choke hold as they were dragging him toward a wooded area, threatening to cut his throat.
Investigators say Fraizer somehow managed to hit a button on his belt, releasing his K9 partner from his patrol car. That's when they say the suspects ran to their car and made their getaway, but Lucas stayed on their trail.
"He hadn't been given a command to release so he was on it," explained Adam.
Both deputies are now recovering from their injuries, and neither has returned to work. Adam said Lucas may never be able to come back due to his leg and shoulder injuries.
"It depends on how he heals. It could mean the end of his career as a law enforcement dog," said Adam.
The sheriff said when caught, the three suspects will face assault charges on a K9 deputy as well as Fraizer.
Adam said as word began to spread about the K9's injuries, he received several offers from the veterinarian community to fix Lucas' teeth.
The search is still on for the three suspects who were driving a blue Lincoln Town Car with a dark top and custom rims.
Crime Stoppers is now offering a reward for information that leads to their arrests. Phone in a tip to 1-877-787-5898.