A man stabbed a police dog in the shoulder Thursday evening as he tried to avoid being captured, then climbed a tree to hide.
But Ambush the K-9 led officers to the suspect before he retreated and went down from the deep wound, Goodhue County Deputy Sheriff Kris Johnson said.
The dog, who has been on the force for 2½ years, was taken to a veterinarian in Rochester where he underwent surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.
"He may be off the road for a bit," Johnson said. "He's a valuable asset."
Events unfolded about 5 p.m. when officers attempted to make a traffic stop. The man, who was known to law enforcement and had warrants out for his arrest, took off. Officers in Goodhue County followed the man from Zumbrota into neighboring Wabasha County, where he crashed into a ditch on County Road 11 near Hammond.
The suspect then ran on foot, allegedly disrobing in the minus-4 degree night as he ran into the wooded area, Johnson said.
About an hour later, deputy Matt Bowron and Ambush found the man, who was wearing "minimal clothing," Johnson said.
Before police arrested the suspect, he allegedly used a 4- to 5-inch screwdriver to stab Ambush in the upper shoulder, Johnson said. "It was a deep penetrating puncture wound, but he'll be OK," Johnson said.
The suspect was arrested and taken to the Olmsted County jail. Charges of fleeing police and assaulting a police dog are pending.