Cop responding to Lake Shore Drive crash rescues dog from lake

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A frisky and thirsty pit bull was no doubt thankful for the long arm of the law Tuesday.

Chicago Police Officer Juan Farris — just two months out of his police academy training — plucked a helpless dog out of Lake Michigan, after it apparently leaped in to get a drink, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

“I never thought I’d be coming to work today and saving a dog’s life,” Farris said, facing reporters after his heroism.

Farris and Field Training Officer Daniel Guzman were responding to a four-vehicle crash in the Streeterville neighborhood about 6:30 a.m., when they came upon the dog, running up and down the bike path along Lake Shore Drive. Initially, officers suspected the dog had fled from one of the vehicles involved in the crash in the 600 block of North Lake Shore Drive. But Farris and Guzman said they’ve since learned the dog’s appearance was not connected to the crash.

A news helicopter captured the rescue. Farris said he and Guzman had been trying to take hold of the dog, but, without a collar, it was unwilling to be captured. At some point, the dog decided it needed a drink and then fell into the lake. That’s when Farris went into action, reaching down and heaving the flailing 50-pound dog out of the water.

“I was looking at the bottom of the water to see how deep it was, just in case I had to get in,” Farris said.

As soon as the dog was retrieved, it showed its gratitude by shaking off the lake water just inches from Farris.

The dog was in the custody of the city’s Department of Animal Care and Control Tuesday. It was unclear if anyone had located the dog’s owner.

Farris said he might be interested in adopting the dog if no one comes forward.

“I’ve always wanted to a dog,” said Farris, noting he lives in a high rise. “So we’ll see how it goes.”

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