A Lilburn police officer knew something wasn’t right when he pulled over to help a man whose car was broken down on the side of the road. It turned out his instincts were right. It all started on Monday, when the officer pulled over to help what he thought was just a stranded driver. The officer said the man was “acting odd” the entire time, so he wasn’t surprised when the man’s ID came back as fake and the car registration was invalid. The officer said the man, later identified as Donte Cephas, took off when he confronted him. The officer chased Cephas into the woods, and a serious fight ensued. Officers Charles Johns and Michael Johnson said as they first caught up with Cephas, he kept trying to reach for something in his waistband. TRENDING STORIES: Abrams acknowledges Kemp will be governor, speech 'not a concession' Uber Eats driver who shot and killed customer found guilty on all counts Atlanta City Council Member Ivory Lee Young Jr. has died Cephas ran off again when a Taser didn't hit him, and Johns said Cephas began punching and kicking him in a long, drawn-out fight. That's when a police dog cornered Cephas. Police said they later found a loaded .357 Magnum where Cephas fell, along with a ski mask. That wasn't the officers' biggest surprise, either. “Upon apprehending him, we discovered he was actually an escaped convict from the state of Maryland and had been on the run since March,” Capt. Scott Bennett said. Cephus is now behind bars. Both officers suffered broken fingers. Johns left the woods with a bloody face, too. “You can't let your guard down at any time,” Bennett said. Records show Cephas has a very long history of gun and robbery offenses.
We’ve heard of dogs that can sniff out bombs and drugs, but right now there are police dogs being trained to sniff out hidden collections of child porn. These dogs are training to detect the chemical compound found in adhesives used in electronic devices like flash drives, cell phones and SD cards. Some of the dogs are being trained by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Special Agent Joe Mech explains what those dogs can find. “It’s a scent that as humans we would probably not even be able to detect, but dogs have a such a powerful sense of smell that they can detect literally thousands of different odors,” said Mech. One of those dogs is named Kozac. He is one of only 30 electronic-sniffing dogs in the country right now, and he is named after a Pittsburgh woman. The Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force wanted to pay homage to Alicia Kozakiewicz, who survived a harrowing kidnapping 17 years ago. Kozakiewicz was lured from her home in Pittsburgh by an internet predator who held her captive in his Virginia home for several days, torturing her. “Alicia’s a warrior and it was an honor to name our dog after her,” said Special Agent Tami Pawlak. Two years ago, Wisconsin passed Alicia’s Law. It gives law enforcement more power and funding to track down internet sex predators. Kozakiewicz led the crusade. “I’m not a police officer,” Alicia Kozakiewicz. “I can’t physically go rescue them, but now there’s a dog in my name who’s doing that and that just feels incredible.” Kozac was donated by Neighborhood K9, but money from Alicia’s Law now pays for food and vet care for Kozac. After four months of training, Kozac began working in August. So far, he’s been on eight searches and discovered five hidden electronic items missed by officers. “A lot of these perpetrators, they hide these devices in their houses in places they don’t want anybody to find,” Pawlak said. “People don’t know what they’re actually interested in, so they’re good at hiding it. Kozak’s able to find those devices and we are able to put them into evidence.” That evidence is the most important piece for these cases. “One micro SD card can literally contain thousands of images and videos on it,” Mech said. “That could be the difference between finding evidence to arrest a perpetrator or not finding it and they end up not being arrested at all.” The cases Kozac worked on are still being investigated. He won’t just be used on internet predator cases, but any case where electronic devices may hold key evidence. “It’s just an incredible thing to have this dog named after me,” Kozakiewicz. “He’s going to help save lives and put so many bad people away.”