Suspect apprehended by K9: "my leg looks like taco meat"

Suspect apprehended by K9: "my leg looks like taco meat"
Tyler K. Howard (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department)
Jessica L. Rudd (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department)
Jessica L. Rudd (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A suspect who ran from police reportedly received 17 stitches in his leg after a Jonesboro Police Department K9 officer helped bring him into custody.

Tyler K. Howard 29, of Jonesboro, appeared before District Court Judge Tommy Fowler via video court on Monday, Dec. 4. He could be seen limping while walking into view of the camera.

Judge Fowler asked Howard if he'd been bitten by JPD K9 officer, Argus, to which he responded he had, and it was the "dumbest stunt I ever pulled".

Howard added that his "leg looks like taco meat" where the K9 officer bit him.

Around 1 a.m. on Dec. 3, Officer Austin Morgan saw a silver Buick pull out of Candlewood Suites.

"The Candlewood hotel is known for drug activity late at night," a probable cause affidavit, based off of Officer Morgan's report, states. "The vehicle stopped just before pulling onto the road from the parking lot. I pulled over into a parking lot and it appeared as if the occupants had seen me, and were waiting for me to leave before pulling on to the roadway."

Officer Austin Morgan stated the vehicle, driven by Jessica Rudd, later drove from the hotel toward Stadium Blvd. The vehicle then turned onto I-555, where Officer Morgan states it failed to maintain its lane.

Officer Morgan pulled the car over but as he approached the car, he said the passenger, Tyler Howard, got out of the car and ran. Morgan stated it appeared as if he had a bag in his right hand. Morgan said he ordered Howard to stop but he did not,

Morgan then ordered Rudd out of the vehicle at gunpoint and placed her into custody. She told Officer Morgan that Howard had a gun on him and was high on meth.

"I then decided to use my K9 partner Argus to track the man that fled," Morgan reported.

Argus tracked Howard to some bushes near the Merril Lynch Investments building.

Officer Bryan Davis spotted Howard in the bushes.

Morgan stated that because of Howard's erratic behavior and the possibility that he had a gun, he ordered Argus to "apprehend the suspect with a bite."

Argus then bit Howard on the lower right leg, and Howard later came out of the brush with his hands on Argus' head.

"I ordered him to release the dog," court documents state ."He immediately complied and put his arms out."

Morgan then lifted Argus off the bite and placed Howard into custody.

Howard was transported to the emergency room and treated for the dog bite.

At the ER, Howard allegedly "freely admitted" the drugs were his. Morgan stated at this time, Howard was very calm and apologetic. A gun was never located.

Back at the vehicle, other officers located meth, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. They also located more methamphetamine on Rudd.

Rudd is charged with possession of meth; and possession of drug paraphernalia, both are class D felonies. Her bond was set at $2,500.

Howard faces charges of possession of meth; possession of marijuana; fleeing; and resisting arrest.

Judge Fowler set his bond at $5,000.

Both were ordered to appear in court again on Jan. 29.

After Judge Fowler set his bond, Howard was heard saying "never again" before limping back off camera.

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