JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — Police escorted K9 Titan to the funeral home Monday morning after his sudden death while searching for burglary suspects.
K9 Titan was searching through an empty building for the suspects when he ended up falling four stories down an elevator shaft. Despite efforts to save him, his life was ultimately lost.
Officers arrived at a residence along Maple Avenue just after 4 a.m. They found two suspects hiding in the building and three suspects were still missing when K9 Titan and his handler were called in to join the search.
A police escort took place Monday morning at 11 a.m. on Monday to take K9 Officer Titan from the Public Safety Building to the Hindman Funeral Home on Frankstown Road.
Titan was a K9 officer with the Johnstown Police Department. He was partnered with Officer Brian Stevens for the past six years.
While serving Johnstown, Titan logged hundreds of apprehension, narcotics detections, and K9 demonstrations. To the Stevens family, he made them whole.
“Tears will be shed when we look and he’s not there, when we listen and can’t hear him, and when we go to pet him and there’s nothing there,” Officer Stevens said.
Michael Plunkard, head of the K9 unit saw Titan’s hard work first hand: out in the field and during training. His favorite memory was watching Titan play after finding hidden drugs; his favorite toy was a rolled up blue towel.
“He would kinda like chomp on the toy in his mouth and loosen it up just enough to where Brian was gonna win the game of tug of war but then he ended up getting bit by Titan because she readjusted his grip and got Brian’s hand, so Brian was always walking around with bleeding knuckles from the dog getting his fingers and trying to get his toy,” Plunkard said.
As Titan’s fellow K9’s sent him off with their final goodbyes, he leaves behind a legacy of courage and selflessness that will never be forgotten.
The other suspects in the burglary were taken into custody and charges are pending. Johnstown Police Department’s interim chief Chad Miller said the investigation is ongoing.
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