Argo, a member of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, was injured while assisting in the investigation into an alleged assault at Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill this past weekend.
According to Michael Terry, deputy public information officer (PIO) for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), around 6 p.m. on Aug. 15, deputies responded to a call reporting an assault.
When they arrived, a woman told them that she was sitting in the park’s pavilion charging her cell phone. When she left to meet her boyfriend at a nearby gas station, she realized that she had left her phone behind.
When she returned to the pavilion to retrieve it, she was approached by two men who told her that someone had taken the cell phone.
“The two males refused to say who took the phone, and then told her she had five minutes to leave the park,” Terry said. “As the victim attempted to leave the park, she advised the two males began to follow her.”
While an argument ensued over whether the two men had taken the phone, the woman’s boyfriend arrived on scene.
One of the men who was later identified as 19-year-old Jarid Ramirez pointed a handgun at the victim and her boyfriend. In response, the boyfriend armed himself with a knife and a set of brass knuckles. A convicted felon, the boyfriend told investigators that he discarded the weapons to avoid being caught with them.
When the boyfriend called 911, Ramirez and his friend left the area. Deputies later found the pair elsewhere in the park with the cell phone in Ramirez’s possession.
The HCSO K-9 Unit was called to the scene to search for the firearm.
K-9 Argo found the firearm, but the gun discharged in the dog’s mouth when he bit down on it. Argo sustained an injury to his tooth and was transported to an emergency veterinary facility where a veterinarian removed the damaged tooth.
“Argo is expected to make a full recovery,” Terry said.
Meanwhile, Ramirez was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault and one count of Petit Theft. He was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center where he’s being held on bond.
Additional charges against Ramirez and the victim’s boyfriend are pending further investigation, Terry said.