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Police dog praised by officer after taking down dangerous driver who fled police
08 Aug | 13:19

A police dog has been praised by a top officer after taking down a dangerous driver as he ran through a field in a bid to escape police.

Darrell Patterson has been convicted at court after being stopped in his tracks by PD Max in January this year.

The 24-year-old had been driving a Vauxhall Zafira through Gateshead on January 8 when police signalled for him to stop.

But he refused to pull over and led police on a dangerous, high-speed pursuit through the Winlaton, Greenside, Ryton, Swalwell and Crawcrook areas of the borough.

Eventually he dumped his vehicle in a car park in Blaydon and ran through a field in an attempt to escape officers on foot.

But he was in custody a short time later after the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter helped guide dog handler PC Adam Fegan to the suspect.

He let PD Max off his leash and the five-year-old Dutch Herder was seen on helicopter footage racing through the field and tackling Patterson to the ground.

He was later arrested by police and charged with dangerous driving after receiving treatment in hospital for dog bites to his arm.

Patterson, of Dale View Gardens, Crawcrook, admitted the offence and on Wednesday he was handed a nine-month suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.

Following the case, Superintendent Helena Barron praised PD Max and the officers involved in the high-speed pursuit.

Supt Barron, head of Northumbria Police's Operation Department, said: "This was a high speed pursuit that could have led to a serious collision.

"Patterson drove through red lights, on the wrong side of the road and repeatedly broke the speed limit before abandoning his vehicle.

"He thought he could evade capture but thanks to brilliant teamwork between officers on the ground, the NPAS helicopter and our Dog Section he was brought in to custody.

"PD Max in particular was determined not to let this offender escape justice and the helicopter footage really shows how vital he was in this search.

"If you try and run from police then you should expect to be captured, particularly when we are in a position to deploy our dogs."

Patterson also admitted driving with no insurance and driving without a licence at Newcastle Crown Court at an earlier hearing.

As well as the suspended sentence, he was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and handed a community order and a three-year driving ban.

WATCH the moment heroic police dog Max tackles dangerous driver attempting to flee police
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