When he was confronted by a dog hanging from its leash in a Walmart parking lot, Arkansas City Police Officer Sgt. Jason Legleiter’s first instinct was to reach for his knife. “This incident definitely showed me the reason I should be carrying the knife,” Sgt. Legleiter told us.
Sgt. Legleiter and Officer Wade Hammond of the Arkansas City Police Department had just put a suspected shoplifter into the back of their patrol vehicle when a store employee alerted them to another nearby problem.
A small dog hung from the open window of the passenger side of a red truck. “[The] dog had essentially hung himself from the leash,” the Arkansas City Police Department said in a statement. According to the Department, the dog was motionless and people at the scene believed it had already perished.
When approaching the truck Sgt. Legleiter immediately reached into his right pocket, pulled out his Boker Magnum Law Enforcement knife, and cut the dog down. Officer Hammond removed the dog’s collar to help it breathe and performed an improvised CPR on the animal, using his hand to press on the dog’s side.
Eventually, the dog began to respond. It stood on its own and the officers opened a bottle of water and tried to get the dog to drink.
This is the first time Sgt. Legleiter has had to use the knife in an on-duty capacity, but knows of other officers that have used their knives to help rescue victims trapped in wrecks.
The average daily high for the city in southeast Kansas in July reaches 92 degrees. The story also serves as a gripping reminder to never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the window open.
“There is absolutely no doubt that Sergeant Legleiter’s and Officer Hammond’s quick response and care saved this dog’s life,” the Department wrote. Captain Mark McCaslin said the Department, which patrols the city of 12,400, people doesn’t issue knives to its officers.
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Sgt. Legleiter bought the knife himself to celebrate a 2013 promotion. Though officers are equipped with window punches and seat-belt cutters in their vehicles, Sgt. Legleiter chose the Boker Magnum Law Enforcement knife because in addition to a blade, those tools would be immediately accessible.
Since the July 8th incident, another officer in the department bought the exact same knife and started carrying it – just in case.