Police canine assaulted during arrest

This is not a good week for cats and dogs.

A fugitive assaulted a Delaware State Police canine as troopers tried to arrest the man yesterday afternoon.

Troopers headed to a Bowers Beach, Del., home about 3:30 p.m. to help probation officers find Robert N. Berry, where they'd heard he was hiding out after leaving his court-ordered house arrest and cutting off his ankle GPS tracking device, state police said. 

But the 33-year-old suspect, originally from Ellendale, heard the troopers coming for him and fled upstairs, police said. When Berry allegedly ignored troopers' orders to surrender, they unleashed Ripper, a police canine, to search the second floor and attic, state police said. The dog found Berry in an unfinished attic access area, but Berry allegedly hit Ripper so hard the dog tumbled onto his back, police said.

Ripper recovered and bit Berry's leg until troopers could take him into custody. Berry was treated at Kent General Hospital for puncture wounds to his leg. Ripper was uninjured and resumed patrol.

Now, in addition to his probation violation, Berry is charged with resisting arrest and assault on a law-enforcement canine, police said. He was ordered held at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $52,000 bail.