Crossville community mourns fallen K-9 officer

CROSSVILLE (WATE) – The Crossville Police Department is planning a memorial to honor a lost member of their team. K-9 Officer Cain was stabbed to death Wednesday morning while chasing down a suspect who was believed to have stolen a semi-truck.

K-9 Cain was a veteran on the force, working with his partner Lt. Bart Riden, the last three years. Investigators arrested Dustin Dixon soon after the stabbing. Dixon is now being held at the Cumberland County Justice Center on a $246,000 bond. As of right now Dixon is facing charges of intentional killing of a service dog, as well as reckless endangerment, evading arrest, aggravated assault, driving under the influence, theft of property, and violation of implied consent.

Flags are at half staff throughout the community and deputies at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office are wearing shrouded badges, honoring K-9 Cain. There will be an indoor memorial visitation at the Crossville Police Department, 99 Municipal Avenue, on Thursday, August 10, at 11:30 a.m. A memorial service is then planned for first responders and the media at the Duer Soccer Complex at 11:30 a.m. There will be a procession, heading north along Main Street, also called US Highway 127, from Central Baptist Church starting around 11 a.m.

There’s a language and a bond unlike any other between K-9 officers and their handlers. Crossville Police Capt. Chris Kendrick has been partnered with his K-9 Arko for years now.

“He’s like riding around with a kid, my kid. I have to look out for him and he looks out for me,” said Capt. Kendrick.

Previous story: Crossville K-9 officer dies after being stabbed by suspect

Protection is exactly what K-9 Cain was providing Wednesday morning to his handler, Lt. Riden, when they were chasing a suspect. After being stabbed, Capt. Kendrick says Cain went to a local clinic, and then sat in Lt. Riden’s lap as he was rushed to UT Veterinary Hospital where he later died.

“He’s (Lt. Riden) holding up, but he is, he is very, very distressed and tore up about the situation because he’s been his partner for three years and you grow attached to them,” said Capt. Kendrick.

There’s an attachment to this dog in the Crossville community. Video of Cain and Lt. Riden highlighting their skills this summer during the Cumberland Youth Academy is being shared on social media.

“When I asked the kids, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ So many times they say, ‘I want to be a K-9 officer,'” said Sheriff Casey Cox.

Sheriff Cox says there should be tougher consequences for killing a K-9 because they’re officers, too.

“Their four legs go in before our two. They go in to protect the officers, protect the community.”

Many people have been stopping by the Crossville Police Department to share their condolences, leaving painted rocks and messages as a symbol of hope.

Donna Flynn, her daughter Ava, 6; and son Cole, 3; came by with gifts thanking K-9 Cain for his fearlessness and bravery.

“It’s not just a dog. It’s one of our own, one of our heroes in the town. So it’s very very heart-wrenching,” she said.

Dixon has a long criminal record. In the past few years, Dixon has been charged with a number of crimes including vandalism, assault, criminal trespassing, aggravated burglary, and several drug charges.

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