Bradley County K-9 released from hospital after being shot while on duty


Bradley County Sheriff’s Office K9 officer Joker walks outside for the first time after surgery. Photo: Bradley County Sheriff’s Office TN/Facebook

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WATE) – Joker, The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office K-9 who was shot in the line of duty last week, will return home to recover after being released from the hospital.

The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that Joker successfully underwent an MRI and CT scan and will be released Wednesday. The K9 will be sent home with a feeding tube to allow him to heal for 5-12 weeks.

Joker will be reevaluated following the recovery period to determine if he is a viable candidate for jaw reconstructive surgery.

The K-9 was shot the morning of Sept. 22 when deputies responded to an auto burglary at a Cleveland apartment complex around 2 a.m. K9 Joker was deployed when the suspects fled on foot into the woods around Toyota of Cleveland near Exit 20.

Joker was immediately taken to an emergency animal hospital for surgery due to his life-threatening injuries. His handler, Deputy Eduardo Choate, was unharmed during the incident.

Six juveniles from Chattanooga have been arrested for a series of vehicle thefts and the shooting of Joker.

Charges from the Cleveland Police Department against the 6 juveniles are: 15 counts of auto burglary, conspiracy to commit auto burglary and felony evading arrest. Charges from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office are: theft over $10,000, conspiracy to commit theft over $10,000, and attempted intentional killing of an animal.

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