DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A Clarkston man was nearly beaten to death inside his own home, but Russell Erickson survived and is now thanking everyone who saved his life. That included DeKalb County Police L-9 Indi, who tracked down the suspect.
At the time of the beating, Erickson was unconscious and unable to talk to detectives, but was able to meet with the K-9 and his handler this week.
“He punched me relentlessly in my face and cut my eye. My eyes were swollen shut and I have a brain injury as well. He broke the posts off my four posts bed and beat me with them. And then when I got outside he continued to beat me,” said Erickson.
A neighbor heard Russell's cries and called police
“Thank God the lady across the street, after she opened the window because she had hot flashes and that's the best thing in the world, ladies having hot flashes is wonderful because she opened that window and heard me yelling,” said Erickson.
Paramedics rushed Russell to the hospital while police were left to try to figure out who did this. With Russell unconscious, they didn't have much information. That's when they called in DeKalb County Police Officer Norman Larsen, and his K-9 Indi. But by now, close to two hours had passed and Larsen didn't know how much help they could be.
“Indi picked up a track right away and immediately my thoughts changes. Ok the guy could still be out here. He tracked behind buildings into this community behind here and found a bloody shirt by the privacy fence,” said Officer Larsen.
And Indi led everyone straight to the suspect.
"When My detective Elliott came and said yes we got him. The dog got him. I was so happy I could finally sleep,” said Officer Larsen.
Now Russell wants to give back. He's started an online funding campaign page and he plans on buying Indi's food for the next year.
“Whatever kind of dog food you like, you get the best,” said Erickson.
A gesture Officer Larsen hasn't seen before.
“This is the first time. Very appreciative for it,” said Officer Larson.
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