Cedar City police dog injured during arrest

Posted at 12:05 PM, Apr 26, 2013

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Cedar City police said a K9 officer was injured Thursday by a man who had been reported as suicidal.

Police were checking on the welfare of Merrill Orlando Rust when they found his vehicle by a water tank near Nichols Canyon Road.

Rust was in a wooded area away from the water tower and used a handgun to fire a shot into the air as police approached, according to a press release.

Officers tried again to contact Rust Thursday night. Police said Rust dropped his handgun but failed to comply with other orders they gave him.

Police deployed K9 officer “Pajko” to engage Rust, and Rust allegedly caused an undisclosed injury to the dog.

Pajko was taken to a specialist in Las Vegas for treatment.

Rust was booked into the Iron County Jail and faces several charges, including failure to stop at the command of a police officer, causing injury to a police service animal, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, possession of marijuana and a possession of drug paraphernalia.

Recent photo of Pajko: