(Reuters) - A Mississippi sheriff’s deputy who was ambushed by two men along a remote stretch of highway, then choked and carried toward woodland, was rescued by his canine partner who chased off the attackers, an official said on Wednesday.
Deputy Todd Frazier was grabbed by two men as he approached a parked car near the southern community of Pearlington earlier this month, said Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Detective Anthony Gambino.
While one man put Frazier in a chokehold, and cut his forehead with some type of blade, the other picked up his legs and the pair carried the deputy off toward a woodline, Gambino said.
“They told him they were going to cut his throat,” Gambino said.
Frazier, a three-year department veteran, was able to free his arm and activate an electronic device that released his canine partner, a black Belgian Malinois named Lucas, from the patrol car, Gambino said.
While Frazier struggled to catch his breath, Lucas “continued to pursue” the suspects on foot, Gambino said.
The dog suffered a torn ligament, some broken teeth, and road rash to his back hip area, suggesting he may have been dragged by the fleeing car as he latched onto one of the assailants, Gambino said.
The motivation for the attack was still under investigation. The suspects have not been arrested.
Frazier, who was treated for non-life threatening injuries at an area hospital at the time of the incident, and Lucas were both expected to make a full recovery.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Paul Tait