January 26, 2006
Police officers often make split-second decisions and today we're learning a decision made by one Albemarle County officer may have saved a teenage suspect’s life. A very special K-9 cop played a vital rold in that decision.
This K-9 cop on the job for just a few short months is already being hailed a hero.
Officer Andy Gluba takes comfort in knowing Rico is by his side. Recently Gluba came face to face with an armed suspect and Rico leapt into action.
Police were called to Food Lion late Tuesday night, after a woman said a teenager threatened her with a knife and tried to steal her purse.
Gluba and Rico pursued the suspect around the side of the building.
“I turned and looked and here comes the person between the transformer and the back of the building with a knife in his left hand, coming right at me,” said Gluba.
Gluba said he drew his weapon to protect himself and ordered Rico to take down the suspect. Rico jumped up, grabbed the teen's arm and disarmed him making a collar that may have saved a life.
“Living with the fact that regardless of how justified you may be in having to use lethal force on anybody is not easy. Having the ability to avoid that in this particular situation was a big relief,” said Gluba.
Rico has also been a relief in another way. He replaces Ingo, Gluba's former K-9 partner killed in a shootout in 2004.
"While I miss Ingo, [Rico has] filled the void," said Gluba.
As Gluba said Rico has one big collar to fill, but from the looks of things his new partner seems to be measuring up just fine.
As for that would-be teenage robber, he's in his parent's custody. No charges have been filed yet.