Police dog Dax finds stabbing suspect, crime victim on consecutive nights

  • Dax, the highly decorated Lake County sheriff's office police dog, helped officers track down two people in back-to-back days this week.

    Dax, the highly decorated Lake County sheriff's office police dog, helped officers track down two people in back-to-back days this week. Courtesy of Lake County Sheriff's Office

  • Arlene Nechistak

    Arlene Nechistak

Updated 11/27/2020 8:25 PM

Dax, one of the celebrated police dogs employed by the Lake County sheriff's office, helped police find a woman who was evading officers in Round Lake after a stabbing early Wednesday morning, officials said.

Arlene Nechistak, a 33-year-old woman with no permanent address, is being held on $10,000 bail on two counts of domestic battery. Lake County sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Covelli said Nechistak is accused of stabbing a person in a home on the 1300 block of Oxford Lane in Round Lake and that she fled before officers arrived.


Dax, with the help of his partner, Deputy John Forlenza, picked up the woman's scent, and officers were able to track Nechistak to a bush she hiding behind about a quarter-mile away, Covelli said. Nechistak was arrested without incident.

Nechistak also had an active warrant dating to Oct. 24, when she is accused of battering a family member at a home on the 23500 block of North Echo Lake Road near Lake Zurich.

For Dax, it was the second day in a row with a successful mission. Early Tuesday morning, about 24 hours before tracking down Nechistak, the German shepherd helped officers locate a man who had been beaten in Beach Park.

Covelli said the man was intoxicated and disoriented and walked away from the scene. Because it was a cold night and the man didn't have a shirt or shoes on, it was important to find him quickly.

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And that's just what Dax and Forlenza did, finding the man at a nearby mobile home about 10 minutes after the search started. He was taken to a hospital, Covelli said.

"Whether it be a person who is missing and endangered or a person fleeing a violent crime, our canine teams are prepared to be there for the Lake County community," Sheriff John Idleburg said Friday in a news release.

Dax and Forlenza have received numerous commendations for their efforts tracking people and drugs over the years. In October 2019, the pair appeared on the "Today" show as part of a segment on the country's top dogs. Dax was chosen as the top dog in the law enforcement category.

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