City of Newburgh Police K9 Lee has become an internet sensation after helping his partner, Officer Roman Scuadroni, apprehend and detain a man armed with a knife. Officer Scuadroni was responding to a report about unwanted trespassing when he found 31-year-old Tony Mann pacing a driveway. A statement from the Newburgh Police Department said Mann had entered the driveway and threatened the occupant with a knife prior to Officer Scuadroni arriving at the scene.
According to Times Herald-Record, Randy Martinez was leaving his home on the 300-block of Washington Street in Newburgh, New York with a friend when he spotted a man acting strangely, dancing around, making lewd hand gestures, and appearing to be on drugs. “I rolled down the window and was going to tell him he can’t be on my property, and then he takes out his knife, and I’m just like, ‘Oh, God, no. What’s going to happen?’” Martinez recalled.
After the man, later identified as Tony Mann, threatened Martinez and his friend with a folding knife, Martinez, who was in the passenger’s seat, quickly rolled up his window and told his friend to drive off. Mann walked to the back of Martinez’s home, and Martinez’s first thought was to protect his mom, his mom’s friend, and aunt who were cooking near the backdoor. “I was so scared,” Martinez said. So, he immediately asked his friend to return to his home as he called the city police.
When Officer Scuadoni responded to that call and approached the suspect, Martinez recorded the encounter with his cell phone. Mann appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic as he stood in the driveway in front of the police SUV, waving his arms and taking a fighting stance. Then, totally unprovoked, he punched Scuadroni in the face as he tried to talk to him. The aftermath was all caught on video.
Unfortunately for Tony Mann, Officer Roman Scuadroni hadn’t arrived at the scene alone. So, rather than return the punch, he introduced Mann to his backup. After calmly taking a step back towards his police vehicle, Scuadroni opened the door, releasing his K9 partner Lee, who didn’t seem too pleased that his human handler had been punched in the face.
Immediately after K9 Lee was released from the SUV, he grabbed Mann’s arm in his mouth and assisted Officer Scuadroni in taking the suspect to the ground. A struggle ensued between Scuadroni, Mann, and Lee as the K9 attempted to control the suspect’s left arm while Mann continued to resist.
Within minutes, additional officers arrived to help with the arrest and got the suspect under control and into handcuffs. Only then did Officer Scuadroni disengage his partner from the suspect’s arm. Mann was taken to the St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital emergency room to be treated for intoxication and a minor dog bite from K9 Lee.
Police recovered the folding knife Mann used to threaten Martinez in the driveway. Mann was charged with trespassing, third-degree assault, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, and second-degree menacing. Thanks to his brave K9 partner Lee, police said Officer Roman Scuadroni only suffered minor cuts and injuries to his mouth and thumbs. Kudos to this K9 for a job well done.v