Jacksonville officer reunited with his dog after burglary
14-year-old accused of burglarizing officer's home, stealing pickup, dog
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An 8-year-old pit bull missing since a Jacksonville police officer's Murray Hill home was burglarized Monday afternoon was found alive Friday morning, although he appeared to have a bullet wound on his snout.
The officer's friends organized a search to find the dog, Hemingway, at 9 a.m. Friday starting at the First Alliance Baptist Church on Hamilton Street. The dog was found by two volunteers about an hour later less than a mile from his home and a half-mile from the church.
"I want to thank the community of Jacksonville for rallying behind me and finding this dog," said the officer, who News4Jax is not naming. "This dog and I are going to testify against this suspect to make sure justice is taken care of."
Patrick Bell, 14, was arrested after police said he crashed while evading police in the officer's stolen pickup truck.
Bell is charged with armed burglary, auto theft, one count of aggravated battery on an officer and three counts of aggravated assault on an officer. Since he faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer, Bell could be prosecuted as an adult.
When Bell was arrested Tuesday evening, he was on probation for a previous arrest for stealing another pickup truck in June, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Patrick Manucy, the victim of the previous auto theft, said he had left most of his belongings in his truck at the time it was stolen. He said his phone, which had a GPS tracking system, was also in the truck.
"I actually found my truck back here in these apartments. Everything in it was gone. (I) found drugs and drug paraphernalia in my truck, (a) broken windshield, (the) seats were cut up," Manucy said. "It was sitting in a parking spot, actually, in front of some of these apartments -- just sitting there."
Bell was seen by witnesses dumping the pickup truck at an apartment complex, and then running away, an arrest report said.
Police arrived in the area and found Bell. He was positively identified by three witnesses, and arrested, police said.
Manucy said he was stunned to find out that Bell had been arrested again when he saw his face on the news this week.
"I was like, 'Are you serious?' Because he hasn't even started paying me back restitution on stealing my truck," Manucy said.
Manucy said he felt the judge went to easy on the teenager when he was put on probation for stealing his pickup truck, and ordered to serve house arrest time.
"He can go tell anybody, 'Hey, I stole a vehicle. I got away with it and the only thing I had to do was write a book report and wear an ankle monitor for about a month,'" Manucy said.
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