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K-9 Zoro helps police officers track down suspect eluding police in Douglas County

When 36-year-old Travis John Byrd of Riddle began eluding police in Douglas County, he didn't expect that Zoro, a K-9 with the sheriff's office, would be the one to take him down.

Posted: Oct 23, 2021 5:30 PM

RIDDLE, Ore. - A Riddle man is in custody after he attempted to elude police and was tracked down by K9 Zoro.

On Friday, October 22, 2021, shortly after 10:30 pm, a Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy attempted to stop a 2003 Hyundai Tiburon in the 1100 block of Glenbrook Loop Road in Riddle for traffic violations. The driver failed to stop and attempted to get away from the deputy.

The driver of the vehicle continued to the 4000-block of Glenbrook Loop before making a U-turn. The male driver continued to the 3500-block of Glenbrook Loop when he stopped the vehicle and fled on foot. A female passenger then took control of the vehicle and continued to attempt to elude law enforcement.

The female, later identified as 34-year-old Sierra Marie Thompson of Riddle, was eventually stopped by a Myrtle Creek Officer and taken into custody.

K9 Zoro began tracking the male suspect from where he had ran from the vehicle. Zoro led deputies to the back of a property near a fence line, where the suspect, 36-year-old Travis John Byrd of Riddle was located hiding in the brush. Byrd surrendered to deputies after being located by K9 Zoro without further incident.

Both Byrd and Thompson were transported to the Douglas County Jail where they were lodged on the following charges:
Byrd: Attempt to Elude - Vehicle, Attempt to Elude - Foot, Obstruction of Justice, Interfering with Police Officer, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon, Violation Amount of Possession of Methamphetamine, Warrant Arrest.

Thompson: Attempt to Elude - Vehicle, Obstruction of Justice, Interfering with Police, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon, Violation Amount of Possession of Methamphetamine.

K9 Zoro, a 3 year-old German Shepherd, has been with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office since September 2019. He was purchased by an anonymous donor in the community and gifted to the agency. The Sheriff's Office K9 program, consisting of three K9 teams, is supported financially by private donations and the Friends of Umpqua Valley Police K9 Programs, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support local police K9 teams.

Bailey's Veterinary Clinic provides medical care for the Sheriff's Office K9 program while Coastal Farm and Home Supply provides food.

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