Officer, K-9 back home after yellow jacket attack

K-9 Officer Yellow JacketsClick Here to See the Story – DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – A Brookhaven police officer and his K9 companion are back home after being injured pursuing a burglary suspect Wednesday night.

According to Brookhaven Police Major Brandon Burley, officers were after a burglary suspect who jumped from his car near the Salvation Army center on North Druid Hills.

The suspect fled into the woods, which is Brookhaven’s jurisdiction. A Brookhaven canine unit was brought in to assist.

Officer John Ritch and his K9, Grizz, tracked the suspect to a ravine, where had fallen in and hurt himself. Ritch and Grizz were circling to get a better vantage point when they stepped into a yellow jacket nest. The two were swarmed by hundreds of yellow jackets.

The officer was stung more than 50 times. Luckily, he was not allergic.

Other officers got Ritch and the dog out of the woods. The officer was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, while the dog went to BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Sandy Springs. More than two dozen yellow jackets were found in Grizz’s thick fur.

The canine was released Wednesday night.

Other officers got the suspect out of the ravine. He was transported to the hospital for injuries he suffered in the fall.

Officer Ritch was released from the hospital on Thursday and was back home with his wife, kids and Grizz recovering, according to Brookhaven police.