After Police Corporal Ronil Singh was murdered during a traffic stop the day after Christmas, the K9 officer’s dog is being retired. The K9 is going home to live with the officer’s widow and their five-month-old son. “I will not take another member of that family from them,” Singh’s boss, Police Chief Randy Richardson told reporters.
“Sam is already back home, with the Singh family, where Sam belongs,” Chief Richardson said.
Singh worked for the Newman Police Department in Newman, California. Singh’s K9, Sam, was slated to work for a few more years, at least, but the department is retiring her early.
The dog was with Cpl. Singh during the altercation. Singh was killed, but Sam wasn’t injured.
“When I pulled Sam out of the car, [she] was wearing a Mrs. Claus outfit that he had put on her,” Chief Richardson said. “It’s just the kind of guy he was…Just to bring smiles to people’s faces.”
“He probably would’ve thought it was funny,” the chief said about having his narcotics dog working in a Santa suit.
Cpl. Singh was a popular and public figure in Newman, where he regularly posted on the local Police K9 Association Facebook page.
“Great job Sam, she does it again,” Cpl. Singh wrote after Sam helped take down a meth dealer.
“She is always ready to assist Newman Police Department officers by searching for drugs,” he wrote. “Bad guy goes to jail for drug sales and Sam will continue to get treats later during the day.”
“My crazy partner turned 5 today,” Singh wrote on Sam’s birthday in 2017. “She is enjoying her patrol shift and enjoying her treats. Happy birthday Sam.”
Chief Richardson gave an emotional press conference during the hunt for the man suspected of killing Cpl. Singh. The Chief called Singh a “true patriot.” Singh, he said, had emigrated to the US in order to work in law enforcement.
“That’s all he wanted to do,” Chief Richardson said. “You’ve never seen a man smile more than him.”
“The fatal altercation began at 12:57 a.m. on Dec. 26, when Cpl. Singh checked out on a traffic stop at Eucalyptus Avenue and Merced Street with a DUI suspect later identified as 32-year-old illegal alien Gustavo Perez Arriaga,” Blue Lives Matter writes.
What happened next is still unclear, but Singh radioed “shots fried.”
“It was a gunfight,” Sheriff Christianson said at the press conference. “Cpl. Singh absolutely tried to defend himself and stop this credible threat.”
Singh had multiple gunshot wounds. He was still alive when other officers responded, and was taken to the hospital, but he didn’t survive.
“This suspect, unlike Ron – who immigrated to this country lawfully and legally to pursue his lifelong career of public safety, public service and being a police officer – this suspect is in our country illegally,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson declared. “He doesn’t belong here. He’s a criminal.”
Arriaga was caught Friday. He was reportedly trying to get back to Mexico. He is believed to be affiliated with the Sureno street gang, and at least six others have been arrested for aiding his escape.
“They intentionally lied to us,” Sheriff Christianson added. “They tried to divert us…they misled us, they provided information that was false, all in an attempt to protect [Arriaga].”
The story’s end, no matter how it is spun, remains tragic. Sam, though, will be with what’s left of her family.