FLORENCE — A Florence police canine unit is being credited with helping prevent his handler from being seriously hurt Monday morning during an attack involving a drug suspect who was trying to avoid arrest, police said.
Florence police officer Zach Maxwell was treated and released from Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital after suffering minor injuries during the attack.
Police Chief Ron Tyler said the incident is a perfect example of the importance of police dogs.
Maxwell's canine partner, Rex, helped take Charles Raymond Nixon, 40, 307 N. Crown St., Florence, into custody, police said.
Florence police Lt. Tim Wooten said Maxwell, while trying to catch Nixon, was able to remotely release Rex from the patrol car.
"Zach caught Nixon and (Nixon) was hitting him in the face when Rex came up and assisted in the apprehension," Wooten said.
Nixon also was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released. He was then charged with a felony assaulting a police officer, based on police records. He also is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, Wooten said.