Police dog credited with helping officers capture man who broke free during wild traffic stop

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SOLON, Ohio (WJW)–  A police dog is being credited with helping officers capture a man, who broke free from police during a wild traffic stop.

It started when Solon police pulled over a car for speeding and officers were attempting to confirm the identities of the three men inside.

Authorities say the backseat passenger jumped out and made a run for it, and the front seat passenger then followed suit.

Both men were able to get away from officers and hide in nearby woods.

Investigators say the two suspects are brothers — 20-year-old Joshua Whelan and 22-year-old Jon Whelan — and say they have had previous run-ins with police.

A police dog from Independence was brought to the scene to help officers find the suspects, and almost immediately picked up their scent, which included the strong aroma of marijuana.

The dog led the officers straight to the spot where Jon Whelan was hiding.

Police say he refused to surrender, so the police dog was turned loose and bit him.

Whelan still refused to comply, and police say he punched the dog in the head.

After he was bitten again, he decided to give up and was placed under arrest on charges that include assault of a police dog.

Police say the German shepherd was not injured, but one of the police officers suffered a leg injury as he was chasing the Whelan brothers.

Joshua Whelan was not found that night and is now being sought by police.

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