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Fugitive held in chase that killed cop dog

Citizen Staff

By IRENE HSIAO

ihsiao@tucsoncitizen.com

A man is being held in Pima County Jail after fleeing from deputies Tuesday night. A police dog was killed during the pursuit.

The multiagency Fugitive Investigative Strike Team and deputies arrested William Earl Smith, 35, of Missouri, at 6 p.m. in the 16000 block South Country Club Road after their investigation led them to the area, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a Pima County sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Smith is being held on two fugitive warrants from Missouri, as well as suspicion of theft by means of transportation and unlawful flight, the jail said. His bail was unavailable last night, the jail said.

Smith has aggravated assault, aggravated assault on police officers and narcotic violations in Missouri and Nebraska, Barkman said.

The motorcycle he was riding when he led deputies on the chase was stolen in Nemaha County, Neb., Barkman said.

Deputies tried to stop Smith at about 8 p.m. at West Helmet Peak and South La Villita roads, she said.

He led deputies on a chase on I-19 to Sahuarita Road, then fled on foot, she said. Rico, Deputy Rodney Hamilton’s 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, was struck and killed by a passing vehicle, Barkman said.

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