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A man with a record of domestic abuse arrests was apprehended by Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday after K-9 Deputy Hevey (pronounced heavy) tracked the suspect through the woods. This was the second time in a week that Hevey tracked a suspect and allowed Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies to make an arrest without a bite or use of force.
“We have some very professional K-9 deputies,” Sheriff Todd Gibson said. “Working alongside the rest of the team, these K-9s allow our deputies to de-escalate potentially violent situations.” On Tuesday, 12-04-2018 at 11:11 a.m., Master Sgt. Travis Shroyer and his K-9 partner Hevey, assisted Deputy Mason Beem and Deputy Rick Adkins when they responded to a domestic disturbance call on Rocky Creek Lane in Lexington.
Dispatch received a call that a woman’s son had hit her multiple times and held her against her will for two hours at a rural Lexington home.
“She told us she escaped once, and he forcefully dragged her back into the residence,” Adkins said.
The second time the victim escaped, she made it to a neighbor’s house and called law enforcement for help. With the Sheriff’s deputies on the way, the man, later identified as Jamie Lee Thompson, reportedly fled into the wooded area near the home. Shroyer had Hevey track the suspect for a half mile through the woods and found Thompson hiding near a barbed-wire fence.
“He saw me and looked like he was considering running, but then he saw and heard the dog and immediately surrendered,” Shroyer said. Thompson was apprehended without a bite.
“We probably wouldn’t have found him if it weren’t for the dog,” Shroyer said. “He’s the fourth dog I’ve had, and he’s the best I’ve had out of all of them. He’s best at tracking, but he’s also very good at narcotics detection.”
Deputy Adkins assisted the victim with her injuries, and she was transported to an area hospital by Wadley’s EMS. Deputies Alex Britz and Keith Webb assisted with the investigation.
“As part of our mission to courageously protect citizens, we take domestic violence cases very seriously,” Gibson said. “Statistics indicate that domestic strangulation has a high correlation with eventual homicide. We’re pleased that Hevey was able to help us apprehend the suspect in this case.”
Shroyer said Hevey likes to go to work and gets into the car eagerly without instruction “I’ve never had a field bite with four dogs,” Shroyer said. “Since I’ve been a part of the K-9 program at the Sheriff’s Office, the program has only had one or two bites in about eight years which is exceptional for a K-9 team.”
Thompson was arrested and booked into Cleveland County jail for kidnapping, domestic assault and battery by strangulation, domestic assault, and preventing or disrupting an emergency phone call.