An armed robbery suspect attacked a K-9 and punched a deputy before being taken into custody, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
Joshua Vaughn Miller, 36, and Sandra Dee Miller, 38, were arrested early Monday morning.
Deputies responded to a report of a robbery at the Safeway gas station on Cherry Park Road in the Troutdale area at around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.
Investigators said the masked suspects were armed with a handgun and a knife when they robbed gas station attendants as they were shutting down for the night. The suspects drove away and ended up heading west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84, according to deputies, before abandoning the car on Southeast Bull Run Road.
Deputies and Clackamas County K-9 Valli searched the area for almost two hours and located the suspects off the roadway.
Deputies said Valli found Joshua Miller hiding down a steep, heavily wooded hillside off of Bull Run Road, which is just outside of Sandy.
The suspect grabbed the dog, got on top of her and pushed her down into the mud, according to the sheriff’s office. A spokesman said the suspect held the dog's head down in the mud and nearly killed her.
"This is heartbreaking. Those K-9 partners become members of the handler's families, they become members of our agency. It's a huge bond," said Sgt. Brian Jensen with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators said Joshua Miller then fought with the K-9’s handler and punched the deputy in the face.
"They're both pretty shook up. The dog is pretty wiped out. I can't imagine the psychological damage," Jensen said.
Valli, a 2-year-old Dutch Shepherd that has been working full-time with the sheriff’s office since October 2017, was taken to VCA Animal Hospital for evaluation and continues to remain under observation at home.
Valli’s injuries do not appear to be serious and the dog is expected to continue resting at home for the next few days.
The deputy who was punched was treated and released at the hospital.
Joshua and Sandra Miller were arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail. Joshua Miller faces charges of first-degree robbery, interfering with a law enforcement animal, assaulting a police officer and interfering with a peace officer. Sandra Miller remains in jail on a fugitive hold.
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