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Man assaults K-9 officer after stealing vehicle

Manatee County Sheriff's Office
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office

(Manatee County, FL) –A 36-year-old man has been arrested after he was caught driving a stolen vehicle and assaulted a police dog that responded to the scene.
The incident began in the parking lot of the Walmart on State Road 64th East on Friday.
Officials say they spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen around 4:00 p.m. and approached it to conduct a traffic stop.
When the driver identified as Christopher John Darlington saw deputies approaching, he rammed one of the patrol vehicles and fled west on State Road 64.
A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office air unit located the vehicle in the 3600 block of US 301 and witnessed Darlington run off of the road and crash into a fence.
Darlington then climbed out of the vehicle, ran towards an unoccupied house, and broke in.
Police set up a perimeter around the house but Darlington refused to come out.
A K-9 team entered to home and found Darlington in one of the rooms armed with two knives.
Darlington reportedly swung a knife at the K-9 cutting the dog’s nose and face.
Authorities then took Darlington into custody.
Officials say they found a large amount of fentanyl in Darlington’s possession along with property that had been stolen from the residence.
The K-9 was taken to an area veterinary hospital for treatment.