Government Police/Fire

West Hartford K-9 Successfully Tracks Man Gone Missing from Longterm Care Facility

Off. Tommy Lazure and K-9 Jett. West Hartford Police photo
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West Hartford Police K-9 Jett located a man late Wednesday night who had wandered away from a longterm healthcare facility near the Farmington Avenue reservoir.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police were able to quickly locate a cognitively-impaired man who on Wednesday night had wandered away from his residence at a longterm healthcare facility at 1 Emily Way.

The man was located about 50 yards into the nearby woods thanks to the quick work of K-9 Officer Tommy Lazure and K-9 Jett, Lt. Eric Rocheleau said.

According to police, a call was received just before 10 p.m. Wednesday notifying them that a 56-year-old man, who suffers from multiple health problems including a cognitive impairment, was not in his room or anywhere else in the building at The Reservoir, the facility located at 1 Emily Way. He had been in his room at 8 p.m. but was not there at 9 p.m. when staff checked on him, and a staff search of the rest of the building had negative results.

West Hartford Police arrived on the scene, and K-9 Jett was cast on the outside of the building to begin tracking the missing man.

The dog picked up the scent at the rear of the building, Rocheleau said, adding that the dog began pulling so strongly, “he almost suspected the dog was on a deer.” Lazure was able to stay with Jett, who led him over tree stumps just about 50 yards into a densely-wooded area where the victim was located.

The track took about 5 minutes, Rocheleau said.

Police said that the man had fallen and received minor injuries. He was alert but confused, police said, “telling officers that he left the building in search of his vehicle.”

The man was taken to UConn Health Center for evaluation.

K-9 Jett received his customary reward for a successful track: a burger from the GoldRoc Diner.

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