Turner and Hooch catch felon

Images of K9 Hooch, K9 Drax, Andy Byers and the arrest
K-9 Hooch has been hard at work with Deputy Jeff Turner since mid-April, and the pair have found a few folks already. But last night was a big one for Hooch -- his first felony arrest!

Andy Byers was wanted in Hardee County for carjacking, robbery, false imprisonment, depriving a witness of a communication device, battery, grand theft auto, grand theft and petit theft. The Hardee County Sheriff's Office says he forced a woman to drive him around in an effort to avoid their deputies Monday night (he had a warrant for violation of probation). He then beat her up, robbed her and stole her car, which was last seen heading into Highlands County.

A few hours later, that car was spotted at the Red Beach Lake boat ramp in Sebring. Byers took off on foot when he saw the deputy, and that is where Turner and Hooch -- as well as Deputy Cody Pearlman and K-9 Drax (a patrol dog) -- took over.

Hooch sniffed out Byers' trail, tracking for a half mile through some very tall grass and prickly pears. Hooch found Byers trying to hide in the grass and a few barks from Drax persuaded Byers to surrender without further incident.

A great job by all the deputies, but especially the four-legged furry ones! #lawdogs

Note: Not all arrests lead to convictions. Everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in court.