K-9 tracks fleeing kidnapping suspect

OKEECHOBEE — A K-9 helped locate a man who had reportedly fled from a U.S. 98 N. convenience store after he had allegedly hit his pregnant girlfriend in the face and knocked her to the floor.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) K-9 Magnum tracked Tyler Allen Moore to a N.W. Sixth Street home. Magnum, handled by OCSO Deputy Brian Cross, tracked to a door at the home and “showed signs the suspect was, or had been, present,” stated the deputy’s report.

Tyler Moore

Tyler Allen Moore

Moore, 19, N.W. Sixth St., Okeechobee, was taken into custody on felony charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, child abuse and kidnapping.

He is being held without bond in the Okeechobee County Jail.

A report by OCSO Deputy Quinton Speed indicated he was called to the store at 400 U.S. 98 N. by a clerk who reported a woman being struck. The man who hit her, later identified as Moore, then ran from the store on foot, continued the report.

Deputy Speed stated the 28-year-old woman was forced to go to the store by the 6-foot-4-inch Moore because he was demanding she come up with $160 in cash to pay the rent on their home.

“Tyler was threatening to burn down the residence, and tore a check that (the victim) had received from her last job,” stated the deputy’s report.

The victim, continued the report, went to the store “under duress” to withdraw some money from an ATM. She also felt she could get help there, added the deputy.

According to the deputy the victim purchased a drink at the store then went to the counter to pay for it, even though Moore was reportedly telling her she “… wasn’t on the side of the store to withdraw money from the ATM.”

At some point the victim asked the clerk to call 9-1-1 because she was being robbed. Moore, who was standing next to the woman, punched the woman in the left side of the face when the clerk turned away to make that call.

The force of the blow reportedly caused the woman to fall backwards onto the floor. She apparently knocked over some displays as she was falling.

Deputy Speed said the victim’s two small children were with their mom and witnessed the incident.

Apparently the clerk then saw Moore running north from the convenience store.

Deputy Cross and Magnum were then called and the K-9 tracked Moore to another man’s home.

OCSO Deputy Lieutenant Shannon Peterson, Deputy Sergeant Chris Hans and Deputy Corporal Matt Hurst then entered the home with a bullet proof shield because they were told of a rifle in the home. They located Moore and placed him under arrest without further incident.

“K-9 Magnum escorted the suspect to the patrol car in case he tried to flee,” stated a report by Deputy Cross.

Deputy Speed’s report noted that the woman was checked out by emergency medical personnel but refused transportation to a hospital. The woman is pregnant with Moore’s baby and is in her second trimester.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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