|Death: ||Dec. 31, 2007|
San Diego County
K-9 Officer Stryker, a police dog, was a five year veteran with the Oceanside Police Department, Oceanside, California. He died in the line of duty while assisting in the apprehension of a drunken driver who had evaded police and led them on a pursuit from Oceanside to San Diego, involving a hit and run collision along the way. Oceanside Police and California Highway Patrol Officers pursued the suspect from Oceanside south on Interstate 5 to the Coronado Bay Bridge in San Diego where the suspect stopped mid-span, refusing to cooperate with the officers. Stryker was released and bit the man's arm, wrestling him to the ground. With Stryker still attached to his arm, the suspect forced himself into a standing position and flung both himself and the 75 pound dog off the bridge approximately 200 feet into the chilly San Diego Bay below. The supect survived, suffering a collapsed lung, and was apprehended by San Diego Harbor Police. Stryker's body was found in the Bay but paramedics were unable to revive him. In addition to charges for drunken driving and evading police, the suspect, a Vista resident, was charged with the felony of causing the death of a service animal which carries a penalty of up to four years in prison. Originally partnered with Officer Brian Bruce until his promotion to Detective, Stryker had been partnered with Officer Kedrick Sadler for the last year. He was a six-and-a-half year old, Belgian Malinois, trained to respond to commands in French, and had been acquired for the department and trained by the owner of the Oceanside Pet Hotel and Training Kennel, Manuel Villanueva. Utilized 1300 times he was the department's most experienced police dog and had taken down more than 60 suspects during his career. K-9 Officer Stryker is believed by the department to be the first Oceanside police dog killed in action in at least two decades.
Public services for Stryker were held Monday, January 14, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. on U.S.M.C. Base Camp Pendleton at the 11 Area parade grounds on Vandegrift Boulevard between 13th and 14th streets.
At the memorial service, attended by at least 120 K-9 handlers and their service dogs from throughout San Diego County and Southern California, Officer Sadler tearfully issued his last command to Stryker, "Touché," the French command to "Lie Down." A bugler played "Taps," a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" and a poem to police working dogs was read, "The Guardians of the Night."
The Guardians Of The Night
Trust in me my friend, for I am your comrade.
I will protect you with my last breath
When all others have left you
And the loneliness of night closes in,
I will be at your side.
Together we will conquer all obstacles,
And search out those who wish to do harm to others.
All I ask of you is compassion,
And the caring touch of your hands.
It is for you that I will unselfishly give my life
And spend my nights unrested.
Although our days together
May be marked by the passing of the seasons
Know that each day by your side is my reward.
My days are measured by
The coming and going of your footsteps.
I anticipate them at every opening of the door.
You are the voice of caring when I am ill,
The voice of authority when I have done wrong.
Do not chastise me unduly,
For I am your right arm,
The sword at your side.
I attempt to do only what you bid of me.
I seek only to please you and remain in your favor.
Together you and I shall experience
A bond only others like us will understand.
When outsiders see us together,
Their envy will be measured by their disdain.
I will quietly listen to you
And pass no judgement,
Nor will your spoken words be repeated.
I will remain ever silent,
ever vigilant, ever loyal.
And when our time together is done
And you move on in the world
Remember me with kind thoughts and tales,
For a time we were unbeatable,
Nothing passed among us undetected
If we should meet again on another street
I will gladly take up your fight,
I am a Police Working Dog
We are the guardians of the night.
Note: In the days following Stryker's death the public left items in his memory at the Fallen Officers Memorial located outside Oceanside Police Headquarters.
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Stryker's ashes returned to his handler, Officer Sadler.
Created by: O'side Native
Record added: Jan 02, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23708889