A Lakeland Police Department K-9 is recovering from stab wounds received during pursuit of a suspect early Saturday.

  • Reuben Smith, 42, facing assault charges
  • Suspect reportedly strangled a female victim Friday
  • K-9 stabbed while pursuing suspect through wooded area

Officer Jeremy Williams and his K-9 partner, Hyde, were pursuing Rueben Smith, 42, when the stabbing happened, police said.

Smith fled into a wooded area near I-4 in an effort to elude officers pursuing him. Williams and Hyde were tracking Smith when they were separated, police said.

When Williams located Hyde, the K-9 was being held down by Smith and had been stabbed twice — once in the left front leg and once in the left side chest.

Hyde's injuries required sutures. The K-9 was released after treatment, police said.

Smith continued to resist officers as they took him into custody.

In addition to facing charges for resisting arrest and injuring a police dog, Smith was also charged with a number of other crimes stemming from an incident. A 24-year-old woman told police that Smith strangled her with a dog collar inside a Lakeland hotel room until she lost consciousness.

The woman also told police that when she woke up, Smith attempted to strangle her again. She was able to break free, however, and fled the room.

Reuben Smith, 42, faces several charges, including resisting arrest and injuring a police dog. (Lakeland Police Department)

K-9 Hyde. (Lakeland Police Department)