Who is Huk? A loyal police K-9 who’s helped capture wanted men, including deputy’s suspected killer

JSO K-9 Deputy Huk, October 2021 (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Huk, a police K-9, was identified by the K9s of Valor Facebook page as the dog who was shot Friday afternoon, following a pursuit and crash just outside the Jacksonville Zoo.

“Huk was flown via helicopter to First Coast Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Clinic where he is currently undergoing treatment. Our prayers are with Huk, his handler and the department,” the nonprofit wrote on its Facebook page.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said its K-9 was shot after the people who were inside the car being pursued crashed. JSO said verbal commands were given for the people inside the car to come out, and when they didn’t comply, police deployed a K-9, which was shot by someone who was inside the suspects’ car.

The K-9 was airlifted to First Coast Veterinary Emergency, an emergency veterinary clinic in Jacksonville Beach, for treatment. Officers outside the clinic told News4JAX that K-9 Huk was expected to survive.

This is not the first time this skilled German Shepherd officer put his life on the line for the sake of law and order.

Arrest of erratic man on the Southside with a gun

In January, News4JAX showed you surveillance video of the moments Huk helped officers arrest Gabriel Campla, 33, who police say entered the Serenity Spa on Southside Boulevard, with a gun in his hand.

The man had been holding employees inside the salon -- pacing outside with his gun pointed toward the front of the business. After a tense standoff, SWAT team members moved in with armored vehicles.

When Campla walked out, SWAT team Officer Cheth Plaughter released Huk, who grabbed Campla by the arm and pulled him to the ground. SWAT team members were then able to move toward Campla and arrest him.

JSO SWAT team members have taken an armed man into custody. Police say he went into a business with a gun. Most people...

Posted by WJXT4 Vic Micolucci on Thursday, January 6, 2022

Arrest of Patrick McDowell in Nassau County

In September 2021, Huk helped in the arrest of Patrick McDowell, a man wanted for shooting and killing Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers during a traffic stop. He was one of two K-9s involved in the hunt for McDowell.

McDowell shot another K-9 officer, Chaos, with a rifle as McDowell escaped capture, police said. Chaos survived.

Five days later, McDowell was taken down by Huk. Huk was released on McDowell after investigators said he refused to cooperate with the police.

Officers descend on Patrick McDowell, the man accused of shooting a Nassau County deputy, at a sports complex in Callahan. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Arrest of murder suspect

In 2018, murder suspect Ricardo Fuentes was on the run after the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Fuentes’ girlfriend, Della Cruz, was missing. Investigators said Fuentes confessed to her murder and was found at an Alachua County convenience store.

When deputies arrived to arrest him, Fuentes had taken off and was tracked down at a home in Micanopy. K-9 Huk found him hiding in a bathroom and helped put Fuentes in custody.

Fuentes was charged with murder in Suwannee County and charged with burglary in Alachua County.

Huk gets his JSO K-9 identification card photo

K-9 Huk is a best friend to his handler, JSO Officer Cheth Plaugher, and has been with him for several years. In 2018, you can see JSO proudly post on Twitter the moment Huk took his identification card photo. So handsome!

Everyone at News4JAX is hoping Huk makes a full recovery and thanks him for his service.

Meet “Huk” who is one of our JSO K-9s. He was posing so good to get his identification card photo taken, we just had to share the moment. Have a safe day everyone!

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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