Washington Co. Sheriff's K9 teams capture K9 killer-fugitive in - KPTV - FOX 12

Washington Co. Sheriff's K9 teams capture K9 killer-fugitive in North Plains

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K9 Chase (left) and Tux (right) with their handlers K9 Chase (left) and Tux (right) with their handlers
Reiner Schmolling Jr. booking photo Reiner Schmolling Jr. booking photo

Washington County Sheriff's Office K9s and their handlers helped track down a violent fugitive who had a felony warrant for a parole violation.

WCSO said they received a report to assist North Plains Police Department on a report of two men fighting. 

When officers arrived both men were gone and officers learned that one of the men was Reiner Schmolling Jr., 37, who shot a WCSO detective and killed a Hillsboro Police Department K9 during a standoff in 1997.

Two K9 teams were called out to help search for Schmolling, due to the possibility that he might be armed and his history of shooting law enforcement.

"Once his name came out over the air, we all knew who he was and all about his past," said Deputy Daniel DiPietro.  "Everything was heightened because of that history. He has killed a K9 in the past, and we know he's capable of doing it again." 

WCSO said K9s Chase and Tux and their handlers followed Schmolling's scent over city streets, fields, through a creek and into a wooded area west of town.

"It was definitely more intense, our senses were on high alert,"  said Deputy Michael Zaugg.  "We took things slower and we had multiple guys running with me as cover."

The K9 teams eventually found Schmolling hiding with his girlfriend.

Schmolling was taken into custody without incident.

"In my opinion it would have been impossible without our K9's," said DiPietro. "We could have put 100 deputies out there to comb the woods, but without the dogs who knows how long it would have taken to find him."

Schmolling is being held in the Washington County Jail without bail.  There's no word on his next court appearance. 

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