Offender in Lake County Punched Police Dog During Escape From Hospital Capture

Illinois, USA – A man who had been arrested for aggravated domestic battery escaped from a hospital and attacked a police dog before being recaptured, authorities said. The incident occurred on Sunday, December 31, 2023, when Jaime C. Romero, 51, fled the hospital after being arrested by a local police department.

Romero was initially apprehended after reportedly strangling and battering his girlfriend. He also had an active arrest warrant from Kane County. During his transport to the hospital for treatment, Romero fled on foot. Hospital staff promptly notified authorities, leading to a response from the Lake County Sheriff’s office and their K9 unit, which includes Canine Dax.

K9 Dax and Deputy Forlenza were dispatched to track Romero, who was eventually located at an orthopedic doctor’s office in the area and was given several warnings to surrender. When he refused, the police dog located and bit Romero, who then punched the K9. Nevertheless, he was eventually taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies.

Following the incident, Romero was charged with aggravated domestic battery, striking a police animal, resisting arrest, and criminal trespass to a building. The police dog, K9 Dax, was evaluated by a veterinarian and cleared to return to service after the incident.

Sheriff John D. Idleburg commended the efforts of his staff, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and quick communication in apprehending violent offenders. Romero appeared in court the morning of December 31, 2023, and was ordered to be held pending a detention hearing scheduled for January 2, 2023.

All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.