On Saturday August 13th, 2005, at approximately 1830 hours, several officers from the Central City Precinct were pursuing a suspect for armed robbery. Officer Bryan Hanania and his police service dog R.J., were trying to apprehend the suspect after he fled
from his vehicle on foot in the neighborhood of 2100 East Garfield. Officer Hanania and other officers chased the suspect into an alley where the suspect had reacquired his vehicle. As the officers were in the alley, the suspect drove rapidly in their direction. The suspect appeared to intentionally drive toward R.J. and struck the K-9 with his vehicle. The officers were able to avoid being struck by the car and the suspect was eventually apprehended by other officers.
Officers immediately transported R.J. to an emergency clinic where he was diagnosed with critical injuries to include a broken spine. R.J. was euthanized as his injuries were determined to be insurmountable.
R.J. was a three year old Belgium Malinois who was with Officer Hanania and the Phoenix Police Department's Canine Unit as a team for 18 months. Officer Hanania and R.J. have deployed over three hundred times to assist officers in locating dangerous suspects and/or illegal narcotics.