K-9 Pyro Leads Officers to Prowling Suspect

Case# 22-005115


On August 18, 2022, at approximately 3:00 a.m., K-9 Pyro and his partner K-9 Handler Officer Martin were patrolling on Carmichael Drive in Chico when they noticed a suspicious subject, later identified as Zachary Johnson (age 29), prowling around the closed businesses in the area. Johnson was wearing sandals and black backpack. Johnson saw Officer Martin and fled on foot northbound onto Carmichael Drive.

Officer Martin directed Pyro to sniff the area where he last saw Johnson. Pyro quickly picked up on Johnson’s scent and led officers through the parking lot of Cal Skate to a fresh shoe print near the fence surrounding the miniature golf course. Pyro alerted Officer Martin to the fenced in area. Officers searched the fenced in area and were unable to locate Johnson.

A few minutes later, officers located the backpack Johnson was wearing in the parking lot of Courtyard Marriott, which is adjacent to the miniature golf course. Pyro picked up the scent at the backpack and tracked Johnson’s path to the pair of sandals he lost while running from officers.

Other Chico Police Officer’s set up a perimeter around the surrounding businesses and spotted Johnson. Johnson attempted to run away westbound on E. Park Avenue.

Butte County Sheriff’s Office Deputies who were nearby assisted Chico Police Officer’s in detaining Johnson without incident.

Johnson was arrested for violations of sections 647 (h) PC – Prowling and 148 (a) (1) PC – Resisting, delaying a peace officer. Johnson was transported to the Butte County Jail.

Pyro is the newest member of the Chico Police Department K-9 team. Pyro is a 1 ½ year old Plott Hound, and he is certified in single purpose trailing. We acquired him from Georgia K-9 in Edisto Island, South Carolina. He is part of a pilot program where we are evaluating the usefulness of a non-apprehension dog that simply trails human scent.

We want to thank the Butte County Sheriff’s Office for their help as well as the community for their generous support of the Chico Police Department K-9 program. Community donations fund ongoing training and equipment for our K-9 service dogs.

Case: 22-005115

Suspect: Zachary Johnson (age 29)

Location: Carmichael Drive at E. Park Avenue

Date/Time: 8/18/2022 at 3:00 a.m.

Supervisor: Sgt. Tony Ferreira

Watch Commander: Lt. Ben Love

The Chico Police Department is committed to ensuring our community is a safe place to live, work, and recreate within!

Log in