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Las Vegas police dog, stabbed multiple times, wouldn’t let suspect go

Updated November 4, 2019 - 9:49 pm

An armed suspect who threatened to hurt himself and Las Vegas police officers during an hourslong barricade, tried to stab a patrol dog 13 times after the dog bit him. But the Belgian Malinois did not let go of the suspect until he was taken into custody.

“These dogs are so tough,” K-9 officer Jason Dukes previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’ve had our dogs shot, stabbed, and they’re still fighting. We’ve had dogs hit in the head with crowbars, their skulls fractured in the middle of a fight, and the dog still holds on.”

New details of the Oct. 26 barricade, which left Metropolitan Police Department patrol dog Hunter seriously injured, were contained in the suspect’s arrest report released Monday by Las Vegas Justice Court.

Joseph Arquilla remains held on $100,000 bail in Clark County Detention Center. He faces one count of mistreatment of a police animal and six counts of resisting a public officer with the use of a deadly weapon, according to jail and court records.

Hunter suffered at least three stab wounds to the left side of his neck, the report said, but was expected to make a full recovery after undergoing emergency surgery that morning. It was not clear when Hunter would be able to return to duty.

Metro officers first encountered the suspect, who was armed with a knife, just after 12:30 a.m. after a 7-Eleven employee called 911 to report that a man was climbing onto the roof of the business at 7311 S. Eastern Ave., near Warm Springs Road, the report said.

Officers tried for about four hours to get Arquilla to come down, but the 27-year-old refused and threatened to hurt himself and the officers, according to the report.

By 3 a.m., help from SWAT and K-9 units had been requested, and a little more than an hour later, Arquilla started to climb down a ladder placed on the side of the 7-Eleven, the report said.

He was still armed with the knife, police said, and refused to drop the weapon when he reached the ground.

A Metropolitan Police Department officer holds two rounds from a 40mm "Launcher," a new less th ...
A Metropolitan Police Department officer holds two rounds from a 40mm "Launcher," a new less than lethal weapon being used by the department, during a training session with K-9 units on Aug. 29, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

That’s when, according to the report, SWAT officers deployed the department’s new 40mm “Launcher,” a new less-than-lethal weapon that Metro rolled out this summer.

In late August, the Review-Journal attended a training session outside Metro’s Bolden area command police station, in which patrol and K-9 officers practiced together using the new weapon in a barricade situation. The launcher uses air pressure to fire a rounded rubber tip projectile meant to incapacitate a suspect, police said at the time.

SWAT officers shot one round from the launcher that morning, but it did not affect Arquilla, the report shows, prompting K-9 officer Jeff Corbett to release Hunter.

Hunter bit Arquilla’s left arm and held on until SWAT officers took him into custody.

Arquilla does not appear to have a criminal history in Clark County, according to court records. The employee who called 911 told officers that Arquilla had not entered the store before climbing onto the roof, and had not seen Arquilla in the area previously.

He is set to appear in Justice Court on Nov. 11 for his preliminary hearing.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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