A man in Florida will spend the next quarter of a century behind bars after shooting and killing police dog ‘Fang’ as he tried to run from the cops following an armed carjacking in 2018.
Jamal Paskel, 19, was given a five-year custodial term for shooting dead the brave and heroic dog.
He was sentenced to another 20 years behind bars for other offences which were connected to the incident as he was convicted last week at Duval County District Circuit Court in Jacksonville, Florida.
According to News4Jax, Circuit Judge Gilbert Feltel Jr. had found the ‘middle ground’ between the 35-year maximum prison sentence sought by the state and the defence’s request for 15 years in prison.
Police Dog ‘Fangs’ handler also made an emotional speech during the hearing during which he spoke about his tragic loss.
Officer Matt Herrera said that he had released police dog Fang to try and stop Paskel from escaping following a carjacking.
He recounted hearing police dog Fang yelp in pain after the first shot was fired.
Herrera recalled how he saw PD ‘Fang’ lying lifeless with fatal head and chest wounds.
Officer Herrera said:
“He’s still a member of my family, and it wasn’t just sad for me or the department.
“It was my wife, kids and parents.
“To go back and see that empty kennel in the backyard and know that there is no dog there, and to see the bloodstains in the truck that I had to clean up after he was killed.”
Paskel had pleaded guilty in December 2019 to killing PD ‘Fang’.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of a gun by a juvenile delinquent and aggravated fleeing, as well as the armed robbery and kidnapping of two women.
On 30 September 2018, Paskel carjacked two women at a gas station.
He made one of his victims drive as he held a gun to her head.
Police were able to track the car through ‘OnStar’ – the in-vehicle safety and security system it had installed.
Officers were able to shut the engine off as Paskel tried to flee with his two female victims.
When officers confronted the armed thief, Paskel tried to flee on foot. It was at this point that his handler released police dog ‘Fang’.
State Attorney Melissa Nelson said in a statement:
“We are glad to bring this case to resolution.
“His senseless killing underscores the dangers law enforcement face every day and it sparked changes in state law.
“This outcome finally achieves justice to Fang’s memory.”
Image credits: News4Jax/WJXT/Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
To stay up-to-date with more news relating to the frontline work of the emergency services, then remember to follow us on Twitter.
Got a story? please email our team: firstname.lastname@example.org