A law enforcement canine has been treated for exposure to potentially toxic blue-green algae after a plunge into Bremerton’s Kitsap Lake while pursuing a wanted man on Monday.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Wilson said a deputy had been patrolling the Kitsap Lake boat ramp, checking parking permits, on Labor Day when he saw a man “come barreling out of brush at a dead run” for no known reason.

“The deputy was just interested in parking passes, but this guy knew he had a warrant,” Wilson said.

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A woman who was at the lake with the suspect told the deputy that the man was her ex-husband and he was wanted on a felony warrant, Wilson said.

“But he was really her current boyfriend with a pissant (misdemeanor) warrant,” Wilson said.

The warrant gave the deputy more cause to track the man, Wilson said.


Heiko the K9, along with his human law-enforcement companion, were called in to assist around 11 a.m., after the suspect went into the lake in a shallow area where the sheriff’s office’s boat could not follow, Wilson said.

“He was like, ‘Haha, you can’t get me,'”  Wilson said.

But no water, whether shallow or deep, can apparently deter Kitsap canine officers.

The suspect was arrested on a warrant for third-degree domestic violence malicious mischief, according to the sheriff’s office.

All three individuals — the dog, the handler and the suspect — were cleaned and decontaminated by Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue after their Kitsap Lake adventure, Wilson said.

The dog was also taken to the veterinarian for a checkup and is now recovering at home, the sheriff’s office said in a post on Facebook.

Wilson said that, as far as he knows, neither human has suffered a negative health consequence.

High E. coli levels have kept Kitsap Lake closed since July 24 and last week it was deemed “potentially toxic” due to the presence of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, by the Kitsap County Health Department.