Police: K-9 nabs runaway driver

Ernest Dockum of Jay is seen in his arrest photo Saturday night after being brought down by a police dog. (Photo provided by New York State Police)

A Jay man received medical treatment and more than 10 charges Saturday night after allegedly leading police on a chase and being brought down by a police dog in the town of AuSable.

It began at 6:09 p.m. Saturday when State Police conducted a traffic stop on Ernest B. Dockum, 48, of Jay, who has a suspended driver’s license, on state Route 22 in Plattsburgh, according to a State Police press release.

As police approached Dockum’s 2005 Chevrolet TrailBlazer, he pulled a U-turn and drove south. Police say he sped down the road, passing vehicles and forcing others off the road. By the time Dockum reach Peru, police discontinued their pursuit for safety reasons.

Troopers later located Dockum’s abandoned vehicle near a trailhead on Clintonville Road in the town of AuSable. State Police and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department tracked nearly three-quarters of a mile before locating Dockum.

Police reported that they commanded him to stop, but Dockum continued to flee.

A State Police K-9 dog named P.J. apprehended Dockum around 7:30 p.m., puncturing his left ear, neck, chest and backside in the process.

Dockum was transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh and treated for minor superficial injuries, according to State Police Troop B Public Information Officer Jennifer Fleishman.

Upon release, State Police charged Dockum with reckless endangerment in the first degree, resisting arrest, criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first and second degrees, unlawfully fleeing police in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, failure to obey and driving while intoxicated as well as numerous vehicle and traffic offenses. He was arraigned in the town of Peru court and remanded to the Clinton County Jail without bail.

Dockum previously led authorities on a chase 10 years ago in 2009, and that time a burning truck was involved, according to the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh. The newspaper reported that Dockum was living in AuSable at the time and fled police as they tried to pull him over for allegedly driving erratically on Route 9. That chase reached speeds up to 100 mph and, like the recent one, was dropped due to safety concerns, but officers found Dockum’s truck — on fire — in a residential driveway several miles away. Dockum was found nearby. He was sentenced to prison time as a result.


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