Canine tracks suspect, leads to capture

On Thursday, April 14, at 10:33 a.m., Sgt. Odell Livingston observed a black Dodge vehicle traveling west on State Road 6 at a high rate of speed. Sgt. Livingston confirmed his observation by obtaining an accurate speed measurement of 84 miles per hour utilizing radar.

Activating his blue lights, Sgt. Livingston turned around to initiate a traffic stop.

The driver of the Dodge (later identified as Blain Allen Rich, 22, of Pinellas Park, Fl.) refused to slow or stop and continued to travel west maintaining the high rate of speed. Sgt. Livingston began to pursue Rich who abruptly turned down a secluded private driveway north of State Road 6. According to reports from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, after a short distance, Rich abandoned the Dodge and fled on foot into the woods while armed with a pair of scissors.

Sgt. Livingston called other deputies for assistance and secured the Dodge. Several deputies responded and set up a perimeter around the wooded area where Rich was last seen.

Sgt. Jarrod Lauth arrived on scene with K9 Miso. Sgt. Lauth deployed Miso and the K9 began to track Rich through the woods. Heading east through the woods, Miso soon crossed County Road 255 into a residential yard. Miso continued to track through the yard and led Sgt. Lauth and Sgt. Bobby Boatwright to a large tree in the back yard of the residence.  Miso quickly located Rich hiding behind the tree. Once Rich saw Miso, he surrendered without further incident.

Rich was immediately arrested and transported to the Madison County Jail. A probable cause search of the Dodge was conducted and deputies located a plastic bag containing synthetic marijuana and two glass smoking pipes along with several other drug paraphernalia items.

Rich is facing charges of fleeing/eluding a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer without violence, possession of synthetic marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and no valid driver’s license.

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