A K-9 officer was stabbed in the back and two city policemen were injured Tuesday night in Lawrenceville while trying to apprehend a man wanted for a home invasion and statutory sexual assault.
The injured K-9 was rushed to an animal hospital where a veterinarian was waiting to treat what police were calling a severe wound.
The two policemen were taken to UPMC Mercy hospital for treatment of leg, foot and hand injuries, emergency dispatchers were told.
The incident began at 9:54 p.m. when sheriff's deputies, armed with four outstanding warrants for John L. Rush, 21, of Stowe, learned that he could be found in Lawrenceville, sheriff's Lt. Jack Kearney said.
A deputy spotted Rush and tried to detain him, deploying a Taser, Kearney said. However, Rush broke free and tried to grab the deputy's gun before running off, Kearney said.
Rush was later found hiding in the basement of a building in the 3700 block of Butler Street where he stabbed the K-9, Kearney said. The officers were injured while falling down some steps, Kearney said.
Rush was then taken into custody. He was not injured, Kearney said.
State court records show that Rush was wanted on outstanding warrants on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and related crimes during a home invasion in Pittsburgh and failure to comply with Megan's Law registration in Stowe.
He also was wanted for violation of parole/probation for previous convictions of statutory sexual assault and simple assault, court records show.
While that building was being searched, a number of police officers converged on Lawrenceville following a vehicle chase that began on the North Side.
The chase began at 10:22 p.m. when narcotics officers tried to pull a vehicle over for traffic and suspected drug violations in the Marshall-Shadeland area.
Emergency dispatchers were told that the chase across the McKees Rocks Bridge and back to the North Side, across the 16th Street Bridge and ended when at least two suspects bailed out of the vehicle 35th Street and Liberty Avenue.
One suspect was taken into custody around 38th Street and Wooslayer Way, dispatchers were told.
The search continued after midnight for a second suspect.
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