• Search

Utah Police K9 Stabbed In The Neck, Cops Nearly Mowed Down By Fleeing Suspect Prior To Fatal Shooting

Hurricane, UT – A Hurricane police K9 was stabbed in the neck and two police officers were nearly mowed down by a minivan while attempting to apprehend a violent suspect on Monday night.

The incident began at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 26, after police received a report that a man at the Hurricane Cemetery was claiming someone was threatening him, KSTU reported.

Investigators determined the man was 46-year-old Hurricane resident Jose Palacios Pascacio and soon located him in the middle of State Street and 100 East.

But as they began to approach him, Pascacio allegedly started yelling and accelerated his Toyota minivan in their direction, nearly mowing down multiple officers, KSTU reported.

Hurricane Police Department (HPD) Officer Dan Raddatz said the suspect “drove right towards” two officers, “just narrowly missing them.”

Police began chasing the fleeing suspect, but ultimately called the pursuit off because Pascacio was driving too erratically, KSTU reported.

Officer Raddatz said the suspect was “erratic in his speeds and swerving, making unexpected U-turns across lanes of travel” during the incident.

He subsequently drove headlong into oncoming traffic, slamming into another motorist before ultimately crashing the minivan in the area of the 700-block of West State Street, according to police.

Officers rushed to the scene and looked for Pascacio inside the wrecked minivan, but he had fled the scene, KSTU reported.

The occupants inside the vehicle the suspect crashed into were checked and cleared by emergency medical personnel at the scene, according to the St. George News.

A short while later, the HPD received a report that a Spanish-speaking Hispanic male in his 40s had just barged into a family’s home in the area of 2460 West 250 North, Officer Raddatz said.

All four members of the family who live at the residence were able to get out of the home safely prior to officers’ arrival and did not suffer any injuries, KSTU reported.

Police attempted to speak with the suspect when they arrived at the scene, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

“When they entered the home, ultimately they had our K9 officer Riko with them and they entered the home, I can’t get into the specifics of what exactly occurred, but ultimately our K9 officer was stabbed in the neck and then the suspect was fatally shot,” Officer Raddatz told KSTU.

K9 Riko was rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital in Las Vegas with severe injuries.

Thanks in part to a blood donation and transfusion from St. George Police Department K9 Enzo, the critically-injured K9 hero is expected to pull through, KSTU reported.

“We are happy to report that he is in stable condition now, still awaiting a couple more surgeries, but his status is much improved from last night to today,” Officer Raddatz said.

The five-and-one-half-year-old German shepherd Belgian Malinois-mix remains hospitalized in Las Vegas, according to KTVX.

“We send our condolences to the family of the deceased. And our hearts and prayers are currently with our K9 that was injured and his partner and family as we are all hoping for the best possible outcome,” the HPD said in a statement to KTVX.

An HPD officer and a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy have both been placed on paid administrative leave while the officer-involved shooting investigation is being conducted, as per protocol, according to KSL.

The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, KSTU reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."