Suspect assaults law enforcement canine during Vicksburg manhunt - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Suspect assaults law enforcement canine during Vicksburg manhunt

Source: Warren County Sheriff Source: Warren County Sheriff
Source: WVGB Source: WVGB
Thomas Wilkerson; Source: Warren Co. Sheriff's Office Thomas Wilkerson; Source: Warren Co. Sheriff's Office
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Vicksburg manhunt that lasted all Saturday afternoon ended with one man in custody charged with felony assault on a law enforcement canine, among other charges.  

26-year-old Thomas Bruce Wilkerson was arrested after the manhunt that lasted over four hours.

According to Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace, a deputy attempted to stop Wilkerson on Nailor Road around 3:20 p.m. for a minor traffic violation when he failed to stop.  

He continued down the road and ran his car into the front yard of a home. Wilkerson then ran from the car. 

The deputy chased the suspect when he ran into the woods and she lost sight of him. 

At 3:40, a canine officer spotted Wilkerson on the same road. The two got into a 'tussle' when the deputy was pushed to the ground. The deputy was able to open his door and let his canine out of the car. 

The canine, Soldier, bit the suspect and Wilkerson grabbed the dog by the neck and body slammed him to the ground. 

At this point, backup from the Vicksburg Police Department was called. 

Later that afternoon, a third deputy saw the suspect at the intersection of Fisher Ferry Road and Nailor Road. 

Next, Sheriff Pace saw the suspect on South Glenn Drive and chased him down the road where he ran into the backyard of a home and then into the woods. 

Authorities received several calls from citizens saying they had seen the suspect and he was finally captured on Grange Hall Road at 8:00 p.m.

The chase covered a distance of about a mile and lasted just under five hours. 

The suspect was treated for bite marks on the scene. 

Soldier, the canine officer, had trouble walking, but was treated with medicine at a veterinarian's office and is expected to be fine. He will have a follow-up appointment on Monday. 

Wilkerson is currently in custody and has been charged with felony assault on a law enforcement canine, failure to yield to law enforcement, resisting arrest and failure to comply. 

A blue syringe was also found on Wilkerson and has been sent to the crime lab for testing. Pending the results of those tests, more charges could follow. 

Wilkerson's initial appearance will be Monday. 

We will update this as the story develops. 

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