K-9 Deputy helps find armed suspects in swamp | News
PLANT CITY, Fla. - Two men are under arrest after a home invasion shooting late Thursday night in Plant City.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies say 34-year-old Charles Smith and 19-year-old Joshua Coleman kicked in the back door of a home along the 4200 block of Cooper Road, shooting three people inside. A fourth victim was beaten with a gun.
Deputies arrived at the home and spotted the two suspects speeding off in a SUV. They pursued the suspects through a pasture where the vehicle eventually crashed. Deputies say the two suspects then took off into a swamp.
Deputy Charles Perdomo and his K-9 partner Deuce were called to the scene.
"You can just imagine, it's dark and thick, you can't see very far in front of you," said Deputy Perdomo, who followed the two suspects into three feet of water.
"We started at the vehicle and tried to get him on an odor and he does the rest," said Perdomo.
Deuce managed to follow the suspect's scent nearly a half mile through knee high water in Thursday night's chilly temperatures.
"There's a lot of vegetation, you had a hard time seeing in front of you it was so thick with vegetation, so there's a lot of odor and also the disturbance under water and all the mud," said Perdomo.
It didn't take long before the first suspect was found.
"When I saw the dog had stopped, I could tell he had something under water and at that time we hurried up and tried to see if we can get our eyes on this guys hands," said Perdomo. "It turns out that guy did have a loaded firearm and after he was secured we returned to the vehicle and we did it again."
Deuce followed the second suspect's scent in an opposite direction. Both men were eventually apprehended.
It was the end of a long night for Deputy Perdomo.
"They allowed me to go home," said Perdomo. "I was mostly cold; it was probably 45 degrees last night."
There was even a special treat for Deuce.
"I usually buy him a sausage biscuit on the way home."
Both suspects are now charged with armed robbery home invasion, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm, felony possession of a firearm, grand theft auto, grand theft and resisting an officer without violence.
The four home invasion victims are all recovering from their injuries and are expected to be okay.