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Police: Ligonier Township K-9 Kilo assaulted by fleeing suspect

Renatta Signorini
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Tribune-Review file
Ligonier Township Police Department K9 Kilo

Ligonier Township Police K-9 Kilo is recovering after being assaulted Friday while attempting to arrest a man accused of leading police on a chase.

Kilo was treated at Avets emergency animal hospital in Monroeville for an eye injury. Chief Michael Matrunics said Tuesday that the 4-year-old Belgian malinois is expected to be OK.

“He’s going to be off a couple days,” Matrunics said. “It was a scary moment.”

A Ligonier Township officer tried to pull over a vehicle on Peoples Road Friday at 7:42 p.m. for a suspended registration. The driver of a blue Subaru started to pull over but then allegedly sped off, swerving through a residential area and onto Carey School Road, according to a police affidavit.

The car wrecked into a ditch and police said Nathaniel J. Munden, 32, of Ligonier Township took off on foot.

Sgt. James Friscarella found Munden hiding behind some bushes and deployed Kilo after Munden allegedly refused to comply with police commands.

“Munden struck K-9 Kilo multiple times in the facial area with this hands and feet by punching and kicking,” Friscarella and Ligonier Borough Officer Jordan Miller wrote in the complaint. “K-9 Kilo was able to apprehend Munden.”

Kilo was bleeding from his eye and was taken to the animal hospital, police said. The police dog joined the department in 2016.

Munden was taken to Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, police said. Investigators found “multiple” open alcohol containers inside his car.

Munden is charged with driving under the influence, fleeing from police, reckless endangerment, taunting a police animal and other vehicle code violations. He was being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $10,000 bail. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

A Nov. 16 preliminary hearing is set.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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