State police issue report on crash that killed local K-9 officer

K-9 Officer Cas
Staff Writer

A report has been released by the Indiana State Police regarding a fiery vehicle crash Wednesday evening that resulted in the death of beloved K-9 Officer Cas.

The report states that a vehicle pursuit began after Plymouth Police Department received a dispatch of an armed carjacking of a black 2016 Chrysler at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The act occurred near the LifePlex gym near U.S. 30 and Pioneer Drive. The report continues that state police officers pursued the vehicle once it neared Foxfarm Road.

"Once other police officers arrived a high-risk stop was attempted near Meijer Drive on U.S. 30 in Kosciusko County. The Chrysler pulled to the side of the road and stopped and the passenger got out of the Chrysler but the driver sped off continuing eastbound on U.S. 30," the report states.

The pursuit eventually found its way to Whitley County where Whitley County Deputy Gary Archbold had positioned his 2019 Dodge Charger at the intersection of U.S. 30 and County Road 450 West. The officer set-up stop sticks to stop the driver, but as the suspect swerved to avoid the sticks, they collided with the officer's vehicle.

"The collision caused the Charger to go into the westbound lanes of U.S. 30 and burst into flames. Officers were unable to get the K-9 patrol dog out of the Charger and it died on the scene," the report states.

Officer Archbold was reported as unharmed. The driver received minor injuries and was transported to the local hospital.

Involved in the pursuit and crash were officers from the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Office, Warsaw Police Department, Whitley County Sheriff's Department, Pierceton Police Department, Winona Lake Police Department and Indiana State Police.

All through the evening the community and local officials took to social media to express their sorrow at the loss of K-9 Cas. The local fire department and officers teamed up for a brief memorial through Columbia City near Line Street Veterinary Hospital Thursday night. A patrol vehicle with the words "K-9 'Cas'" is parked at the Whitley County Courthouse where flowers and other memorials have been laid.

Thursday morning Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel issued an executive order to lower all flags to half-mast until Friday, July 19 in honor of Cas.