K-9 Officer Injured in Friday Apprehension Had Surgery -- Doing Well (Updated)

Posted: January 6, 2014

The Winchester Star

Winchester Police Cpl. Brittney Neer and her K-9 Dakota give a demonstration of police work to members of the Daniel Morgan Middle School student Crime Solvers group in March. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

UPDATE (3:25 p.m.): Winchester Police sent an update to say that Kota has gone through surgery and is doing well. He is expected to go home on Tuesday.

WINCHESTER — A Winchester Police Department K-9 will undergo surgery today after being injured Friday in the line of duty.
K-9 Officer, Kota, fell through a floor at a residence in the 900 block of Franklin Street while helping apprehend suspects in a burglary.
Officers responded to the home just after 9 p.m. in reference to a security check, according to a media release. 
They were told that two people were seen walking through a back yard and flashing lights were seen moving through the house.
The homeowner, Phillip Daniel Rush, 64, was not at the residence because he is currently being held without bond at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center on a charge of production of child pornography.
At the scene, an officer found a door to the house that was open and requested that a K-9 officer respond to the scene. 
Cpl. B. N. Kotynski-Neer responded with K-9 Officer Kota, the release states.
The suspects were hiding in a crawl space and as Kota was assisting in apprehending one of them, he fell through the floor to the first floor of the residence. 
He sustained a broken leg from the fall, but even after his injury, Kota attempted to continue to assist them, according to the release.
 He was taken a veterinary clinic after the incident.
“We are thankful to Kota and for his heroic service in protecting our officers and the community,” saidPolice Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher. “He and the officers with him faced a challenge and risk similar to those officers face every day, and performed in a manner that makes us proud. The members of the WPD will do whatever it takes to make sure that the team of Kota and Cpl. Kotynski-Neer get to return to duty together as quickly as possible.”
They have worked together since Kota joined the force in May 2009.
Officers arrested Mitchell Statler Brown, 19, of Winchester and Robert Stanley Crosen III, 35, of Winchester.
They were each charged with burglary. 
Brown was taken to jail and Crosen was taken to Winchester Medical Center.
The incident remains under investigation.    
For more information about Kota and the burglary, read Tuesday’s Winchester Star.

 — Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com