In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, a man was sentenced up to 44 years for the killing of a K9 Officer named Rocco, and assaulting his handler, along with three other officers with a knife.
John Rush was been convicted on several charges including disarming a law enforcement officer and four counts of aggravated assault. The judge has stacked them consecutively to net him a total of 44 years.
Judge Rangos said it is her policy to ensure she dispenses justice for each assault victim.
Rush’s arrest record shows he’s been charged more than 20 times, dating back to his juvenile record. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni told Judge Rangos, “her son has significant mental health problems and has been institutionalized for most of his life.”
“She’s afraid of her son. When he would stay with her, she’d sleep with her door locked”
Jennifer DiGiovanni, Assistant District Attorney
Rush was cornered by police in the basement of a Lawrenceville apartment building. They found him here after he evaded capture from a sheriff’s deputy and narrowly avoided being hit by a taser. This was where he stabbed Rocco, the K9 Police dog. Rocci died two days later in the care of a vet.
At Rocco’s funeral, hundreds attended to pay their respects to the four legged hero.
His death even inspired tougher sentences for those who attack police dogs. In July, the-Gov. Tim Corbett signed “Rocco’s Law,” which increased the prison sentence up to 10 years in prison coupled with a $25,000 fine.
Over $108,000 was donated to the Officer Rocco K9 Memorial Fund. The money is being used to purchase bullet-resistant, knife-resistant vests, and other equipment and training.