HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Hurricane K9 Officer Riko, his partner Officer Eric Demille, and fellow Officer Jordan Bogenhagen were each given a Medal of Valor for their bravery in apprehending a knife-wielding suspect in late December.
Hurricane City Police said the medal is the highest honor and is awarded to officers who have distinguished themselves with bravery and heroism above the normal demands of police service.
“To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an officer would have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril,” Hurricane PD said in a Facebook post.
In late December, the three officers were involved in an incident where a suspect armed with a knife had broken into a stranger’s home. Two young children and another adult were inside the home at the time of the break-in.
While apprehending the suspect, Riko was stabbed several times. Herriman PD said the suspect continued towards officers, who then shot and killed the suspect to stop the assault.
Officer Demille said after the event that he had to make the split-second decision to send Riko toward the suspect knowing he had a knife because he knew that Riko was the only thing that could slow the suspect down and prevent another officer from getting hurt.
“Riko did his job and did not hesitate to do it,” said Demille.
The next few weeks were a turbulent time for Riko, Demille, and all their coworkers. Riko was taken to an emergency vet before getting transported to Las Vegas to a critical care center.
Riko has since made a great recovery and has been cleared to return to work sniffing narcotics.
Riko has also become a local hero, receiving incredible support from the community. While he was recovering, Riko received a new bed, treats, and toys from his family and the community at large.
Now, Riko, as well as Officers Demille and Bogenhagen, can add a Medal of Valor to their trophy case in honor of their bravery.