Police K9 Hyde Stabbed During Apprehension of Suspect
LAKELAND, FL (July 30, 2016) – The Lakeland Police department responded to a report of an aggravated assault at the Crestwood Hotel, 4360 Lakeland Park Drive, at 8:40 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2016. Upon arrival, officers interviewed a female victim, Raquel Rios, that had been strangled with a dog leash. The suspect, Reuben B. Smith, age 42, had already fled the scene in a vehicle headed to Hillsborough County, armed with a knife. Rios stated that Smith had asked her if she knew what it was like to be strangled. Rios ran to the bathroom and Smith forced his way in. Rios then stated that Smith proceeded to force his way onto her and wrap a leash around her neck and choke her until she lost consciousness and fell to the floor.
After Rios woke up, Smith escorted her to the bed and again wrapped a leash around her neck however Rios was able to escape and ran out of the hotel room. At this time, Smith left the scene in a white Buick, Regal.
At approximately 3:00 a.m. Smith had returned to Lakeland and was spotted driving eastbound on George Jenkins Boulevard. After seeing officers, Smith sped off and a vehicle pursuit began. During the pursuit, Smith intentionally drove off the roadway on Swindell Road at the Interstate 4 overpass. He rammed the barrier fence attempting to drive on to the interstate but disabled his vehicle upon hitting the ditch. Smith then fled on foot, running eastbound along the shoulder of the interstate for several hundred yards before ducking into a wooded area.
Canine Officer Jeremy Williams and his K-9 partner Hyde responded to the area and began tracking Smith. Officer Williams briefly lost site of Hyde in the wooded area and attempted to call him back, but Hyde did not return. Moments later Officer Williams found Smith holding the canine down. Hyde had been stabbed twice by Smith, once in the left front leg and once in the left side chest. Both injuries required sutures (2 staples per wound) but appeared to be non-life threatening. K-9 Hyde was released after treatment.
Smith continued to resist officers as he was placed into custody. Smith is charged with:
1. Aggravated Assault
2. Fleeing or Attempting to Elude
3. Aggravate Assault with Deadly Weapon Without Intent to Kill
4. Injuring/Killing a Police Dog
5. Resisting an Officer with Violence
Smith was later transported to the Polk County Jail and at this no mug shot is available. Smith’s address is 1325 Redbud Street, Plant City, Fla.
Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583.2357