Hero Down: Riverhead Police K9 Rocky Killed During Pursuit

Holly Matkin

Riverhead Police K9 Rocky was killed in the line of duty on Sunday.

Riverhead, NY Riverhead Police Department K9 Rocky was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, when the vehicle he was riding in with his partner crashed into a pole during a pursuit.

The incident began at approximately 2:30 a.m., when the unidentified driver of an Audi drove through a DWI checkpoint on Long Island, striking an officer, WCBS reported.

Several police units responded to the area, including K9 Rocky and his handler, and began pursuing the suspect vehicle, according to WNBC.

As the duo sped down West Main Street, just west of Raynor Avenue, K9 Rockys handler lost control of the patrol vehicle.

The cruiser careened of the roadway and slammed into a utility pole, at which point K9 Rocky was ejected.

He didnt know where the dog was, witness Gabriel Guazhambo told News 12 Long Island. And when he saw the dog, he just started crying.

K9 Rocky died at the scene.

His partner and the officer hit by the Audi driver were both transported to the Peconic Bay Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries WNBC reported.

Police ultimately terminated the pursuit in Manorville, after concluding it was too dangerous to continue.

The driver remains at large.

K9 Rocky, a German Shepherd, had been with the department for seven years, FOX News reported. He was one of two police dogs working for the agency.

He was named in honor of former Riverhead Police Chief Roscoe Rocky Palmer, a 37-year veteran of the department, who served as Riverheads chief for 11 years, the Riverhead Local reported.

Chief Palmer passed away in 2009 at the age of 79, according to the New York Post.

His widow, Helen Palmer, said that K9 Rocky was a beautiful, beautiful dog.

Its very upsettingHes going to be missed by everyone, she said.

Riverhead Police Sergeant Steven Palmer, the former chiefs son, identified K9 Rockys handler as Officer John Morris.

Dogs and their handlers, they have a special bond with each other, Sgt. Palmer said. Its natural to be very upset about the whole situation.

He said he worked with Officer Morris and K9 Rocky just two weeks ago during a search for a shooting suspect.

When he was doing a search, he was all business, Sgt. Palmer said of K9 Rockys work ethic. He was very dedicated to his work.

Plans for a memorial service are still being considered, he said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Riverhead Police Department and Officer John Morris in the loss of K9 Rocky.

Comments (6)
No. 1-6

So many heartbroken K9 officers again in a short period of time. So sorry for your loss, Officer Morris. Rocky was a beautiful dog. Rest in peace, Rocky - wait for your buddy across the Rainbow Bridge, where you can run and play together again.


So sorry for your loss! RIP Rocky


I'm so so sorry to see this.RIP now Rockey your work has been fulfilled here on earth. Go now Rockey to heaven your family and friends awaite your arrival at the golden gates with your wings so you can fly high and live free.Watch over your family of officers as you have always done.You are there Angel now Rockey so fly high .Thank you for your Service God BLESS you. GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND GOD BLESS YOUR PARTNER AS HE HEALS FROM THIS TRAGIC INCIDENT.


This is heartbreaking!


This is so sad and unnecessary! Ive read on this site about Police Dogs dying in hot cars because their handlers are negligent. And now this! If youve ever been around a k-9 patrol car you will see bars on the window so the Officer can role the window down without the dog getting out. How was he ejected? I hope an independent agency investigates this and helps this Police Department become better prepared to own and care for a K-9.


What the hell,seems like for past week K9s have died everyday

Fallen Heroes