An intoxicated man broke into Lake Washington High School last week, in the middle of the night, and eventually surrendered to Kirkland’s police dog, Thor.
The man was arrested for trespass, just a typical run-of-the-mill alarm call with a quirk or two, but Kirkland police saw an opportunity to give the community a window into the training and expertise of the local K-9 unit.
In the early hours of March 1, Kirkland and Redmond K-9 units were conducting training outside Lake Washington High School. One officer would leave a trail for the dogs to pick up, with a pair of handlers following behind and tracking the dog’s progress.
During the training exercise, which Kirkland Police Corp. Cody Mann said is often at LWHS due to the size of the campus, a school district security guard drove up and told the officers an alarm had been tripped inside the school. While they were talking, the officers heard the alarm call from dispatch.
The alarm system inside the school allows for the security company to pinpoint the location of the subject — just inside the glass-walled cafeteria in the front of the building. The security guard unlocked the door.
“The man was literally sitting there drinking alcohol and charging his phone,” Mann said.
The subject initially took a fighting stance before beginning to walk away, and because the officers were unaware of the man’s intentions, the officers sent Thor to subdue him.
“Thor was at a dead sprint, and the guy turned around and put his hands up,” Mann said.
Thor’s handler, Officer Daniel Hopkins, commanded him to stand down as soon as the subject gave himself up. Thor stopped so quickly his paws touched the subject’s chest before settling to sit at his feet.
The man struggled briefly as officers placed him in handcuffs, but the remainder of the incident played out without issues. Mann said it was only because of Thor and Hopkins’ extensive training that the subject wasn’t bitten unnecessarily.
The initial story was picked up by a handful of news agencies after KPD posted about the incident on Twitter, but it isn’t the first time Thor has made the news across the region. In 2014, Thor was knocked unconcious after being struck by a police cruiser while tracking an assault suspect.