Edmonton police have laid its first charge against a someone under Quanto’s law, a ground-breaking piece of federal legislation designed to punish criminals who hurt or kill service animals.
The Edmonton Police Service said a canine unit spotted a suspicious vehicle driving through Alberta’s capital city on the evening of Aug. 2 But when officers tried to pull the minivan over, the driver sped off. The vehicle was followed by air and on the ground as it drove “erratically” through the city. Police deployed a spike belt to bring it to a stop.
That’s when police said the driver ran off carrying 80 grams of methamphetamines with K9 member Jagger was in hot pursuit. Jagger took down the suspect, but was punched several times in the face, according to police. Jagger’s injuries weren’t severe.
Police said they recovered a loaded handgun, ammunition, bear spray and a hatchet.
Ryan James Prystay, 33, faces numerous charges including weapons, drug and stolen property offences as well as flight from peace officer, dangerous driving and injure or endanger a law enforcement animal.
That latter charge comes only because of passage of the Justice for Animals in Service Act, also known as Quanto’s Law last year. It is named after Edmonton police dog Quanto, who was stabbed to death in 2013 while on the job.
The law carries a maximum five-year sentence for those convicted of killing a service animal.
Jagger was lucky. He was back on the beat the next night.
— EPS Canine (@EPSCanine) August 4, 2016
— Edmonton Police (@edmontonpolice) August 4, 2016
Photos Edmonton Police Service