K-9 Unit Helps Bring in Nueces County Jail Escapee

Just two hours after an inmate escaped from custody, he was back in handcuffs thanks, in part, to the Corpus Christi Police Department's K-9 unit.

It happened Saturday night. 30-year old Joe Hernandez slipped away as he was being admitted to the Nueces County Jail. A short time later, officers found him hiding out under a building.

Police who were on the scene said that, as soon as Hernandez spotted the dog, he surrendered.

Authorities said Hernandez has a history of running from the law. He is someone who is not immediately intimidated by police; but when Indy the canine cop showed up, Hernandez threw his hands up in the air and surrendered to police.

He was wedged underneath a law office near the intersection of Comanche and Waco. Had the dog not of been there, getting Hernandez back in handcuffs might not of been as easy.

It's just another example of how handy the CCPD's K-9 unit can be, especially when it comes to criminals who have nothing to lose and will do whatever it takes to avoid going back to jail.

"Immediately, he started saying 'I'm coming out. Don't send the dog,'" said Jason Lavastida of the CCPD. "I myself, or another officer, didn't have to go under the house to get him. His barking, his presence, made it that much easier for us."

Hernandez was one of five detainees who were being transported to the county jail. All of the detainees had one arm shackled to a chain, meaning only one of Hernandez' hands was locked in cuffs. He managed to pull his hand out of the handcuff and slip under the sally port door seconds before it shut.

The CCPD has two dogs assigned to patrol; Indy and Kimbo. Both have assisted in dozens of arrests. About a month ago, Indy tracked down a stabbing suspect who was hiding out in a grassy field on the southside.


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