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K9 officer tracks submerged crook through Florida swamp

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HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida man learned the hard way that when it comes to tracking criminals, you can't beat the nose of a good K9 officer.

Pasco County deputies spotted a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed Tuesday and began pursuit. The driver, Paul Daniel Smith, nearly struck deputies on the side of the road, and then fled by foot into a nearby swamp after exiting his vehicle.

It's there that K9 officer Knox took over.

Along with two other human officers, Knox tracked Smith through the densely wooded area and found him trying to hide by almost completely submerging his body.

It took a few minutes to extract Smith from the mud, but he was eventually freed and charged with flee to elude, aggravated assault and violation of probation.

K9 Knox Swamp Track

Yesterday (Tuesday, 4/17), Pasco deputies spotted a vehicle that was driving at a high rate of speed southbound on US 41 that was the subject of a case in Hernando County. After a short pursuit, the vehicle slowed after nearly striking deputies and the driver fled on foot into a densely wooded, swampy area. K9 Knox, Deputy Rob Wilkins, and Corporal Andrew Denbo tracked the subject through the swamp and located him almost entirely submerged in the mud. After several minutes and with the assistance of other deputies, they were able to extricate the subject from the mud and arrest Paul Daniel Smith for Flee to Elude, Aggravated Assault on LEO, Violation of Probation, and also notify Hernando County of the arrest. The video below shows the track just before the suspect is discovered by K9 Knox and initial efforts to remove the suspect from the thick mud. He was later freed with the assistance of several other deputies. We do want to warn viewers that there is coarse language used by the suspect in this video.

Posted by Pasco Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, April 18, 2018