Midland man apprehended by K-9 Nero following chase

Patrolman Chris Green and K-9 Nero

EAST LIVERPOOL — The city’s new canine officer was deployed to apprehend a person who allegedly ran from his handler at a traffic stop Wednesday evening.

According to police, K-9 handler Patrolman Chris Green initiated a traffic stop just after 6:30 p.m. after seeing a vehicle fail to stop at the intersection of Jefferson and Sixth streets.

Once the vehicle stopped, the passenger, identified as Antoine T. Stephenson, 34, Midland, Pa., exited the vehicle and began to run, although ordered to stop by Green, who was trying to detain him.

Green reported Stephenson tried pulling away, but he was placed against the cruiser to be patted down for weapons, due to the officer being by himself and due to Stephenson’s demeanor.

Green reported he had to keep telling Stephenson to stop pulling away, but he began to run, prompting the officer to grab him around the waist and take him to the ground, where Stephenson reportedly continued fighting Green.

Once on the ground, Stephenson reportedly began kicking and punching the car he had exited, telling the driver to leave.

Green reported that, during the struggle, he was unable to reach his Taser as Stephenson continued to fight him, but he was able to call for other officers.

Meanwhile, Green asked a passerby in a vehicle that had arrived on the scene to pull up behind the suspect’s vehicle, blocking it in so it could not drive off, as he said Stephenson was “frantically” yelling at the driver to leave the scene.

According to the report, Green was unable to subdue Stephenson and struck him in the face, causing him to then comply with the officer’s orders.

Green got off Stephenson at that point, due to the officer having injured his leg, and Stephenson again took off running, at which point Green deployed his canine partner Nero, and they chased Stephenson down Jefferson Street, turning onto Drury Lane, where Nero located Stephenson, chasing him back to West Sixth Street.

Stephenson jumped onto a vehicle to avoid being bitten, and Nero jumped onto the trunk but fell back off, then ran around the car and jumped onto the hood in an attempt to grab Stephenson.

Green reported Nero was trying to gain traction on the vehicle and nearly bit Stephenson in the face when the officer was able to grab his partner and pull him from the suspect.

Backup officers arrived on the scene and arrested Stephenson for obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

St. Clair Township’s K-9 team of Josh Jackson and Noras arrived on the scene, and Noras searched for weapons and contraband, with none located, according to reports.

Green reported pills that were not prescribed to Stephenson or the driver were found in the vehicle, and Stephenson had $938 in cash.