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Fontana police officer recounts K-9's plunge from 2nd-story window

April 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fontana police K-9 is recovering after plunging from a second-story window on Easter Sunday in an attempt to catch a parolee. The dog named Jaris isn't ready to go back on patrol just yet, but his handler, Officer Steve Bechtold, knows that his injuries could have been much worse.

"I thought he was dead," Bechtold said. "I thought he would be dead or paralyzed."

When a wanted parolee wouldn't come out of a Fontana home, police sent Jaris inside to go get him. But as the dog charged the suspect, police say the man used the dog's own momentum against him and threw him out of the second-story window.

"I saw him for about 6 or 7 feet as he went out and lost sight of him," Bechtold said. "My first thought was, 'What happened to my dog? What happened to my partner? But yet I've got an officer here, we still have to deal with the suspect.'"

They arrested the suspect. As for Jaris, he landed on his head and was rushed to the animal hospital. They hope he'll be able to return to duty that one day.

"He's very sensitive, he's very emotional," Bechtold said. "He's always high drive, ready to play, ready to go, he's pretty much the same every day. What you see is what you get."

At 6 years old, Jaris is highly experienced. He's been requested by the Secret Service on several of occasions to protect Hillary Clinton, President George W. Bush and even the Dalai Lama.

Jaris has a return trip to the vet planned for Wednesday. They're worried he might have nerve damage in his nose. They were hoping Jarvis would return to action in a week or so, but Bechtold is happy just with him being alive.

"I kind of didn't think we'd have him around when I saw him go out the window, but he keeps getting better and better, so it's been a tough week, but it's been a good week at the same time," Bechtold said.


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