Oakdale’s new police canine, Chevy, sprang into action tracking the path of a fleeing wanted felon and eventually getting the hiding suspect to surrender to police via bark and threat of bite if he resisted.
On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 16, Officer Joseph Pereira observed Benjamin Daniel Gayton, 31, of Oakdale in the alleyway near Church Avenue and South H Street. Gayton was wanted for felony possession of narcotics and had previously fled from police when he was attempted to be stopped on prior occasions.
When Officer Periera approached Gayton, he again fled. Officer Stever and his canine officer partner, Chevy, arrived and tracked Gayton approximately ¼ mile to an apartment complex in the 300 block of South Third Avenue.
Oakdale Police Sergeant Joseph Carrillo said Chevy alerted to a specific apartment and the resident told officers that an individual she claimed not to know was hiding inside the unit.
With Chevy still barking alerting officers to the tracked scent, the suspect was ordered out of the residence.
“We didn’t have to go inside at all,” Sgt. Carrillo said. “Gayton came out and immediately surrendered.”
Gayton was arrested and later booked into Stanislaus County Jail on the narcotics warrant as well as charges of resisting arrest and vandalism. The vandalism charge is from damage Gayton caused to a fence when he was running from the police.
This is Chevy’s first arrest and find since being released from supervised training a few weeks ago.
The resurrection of the department’s canine program that had been cut in 2006 was made available through nearly $25,000 in local donations last year.
Steves Chevrolet donated $16,000 to the department last summer for the purchase and training of the dog as well as made available at a low cost a two-wheel drive Chevrolet Tahoe from its used fleet to be specially equipped as the department’s canine patrol vehicle.
Chevy, a 15-month-old cross breed between a German Shepherd and a Belgium Malinois, was sworn in during a special ceremony at Steves Chevrolet last December.