K9 officer injured during arrest to be released Tuesday

Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-29 18:08:42-04

CEDAR CITY, Utah -- A Cedar City Police Department K9 officer is scheduled to be released from the hospital on Tuesday after he was injured while helping officers make an arrest.

Police said they were making a welfare check on 48-year-old Merrill Rust on Thursday. During the struggle to arrest Rust, officer Pajko suffered a herniated disk in his neck.

Police said Rust fired a round from his handgun into the air and refused to comply with orders, which is when Pajko was deployed to engage Rust.

Pajko underwent surgery on Saturday and is now scheduled to be released on Tuesday.

After he is released, Pajko will undergo several weeks of rehab before he can return to his full duties.

Rust was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and causing injury to a police service animal.

The dog is expected to make a full recovery and eventually return to police work.