‘He already surrendered;’ Family calling Jacksonville K9 release on suspect into question

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The family of a man allegedly taken down by a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K-9 is speaking out against what they believe was excessive use of force.


Family said the 24-year-old suspect is Nathan Dykes.

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Action News Jax told you Thursday when, police said, a man in his 20′s was shooting a gun around an apartment complex and later barricaded himself from police for nearly eight hours.

In video captured by neighbors, it appears the man has his back turned to police with his hands in the air when the SWAT team deploys a K-9.

We sent the video to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for comment. A spokesperson said, “Thank you for providing the videos. The incident is being administratively reviewed; therefore, we are unable to comment on the incident while that review is ongoing.”

The Sheriff’s Office has not released the suspect’s name to the public, but Action News Jax, Meghan Moriarty, noticed charges that matched the incident from Thursday in the department’s public jail log. She connected with the suspect’s family who confirmed his identity.

“He’s a good kid,” Ellis Dykes said. “I mean he already surrendered, backing up to ‘em. He was already compliant.”

Police said the suspect was shooting at homes and cars in the Gregory Cove Apartment Complex. One bullet went into a family’s living room. Families were evacuated from their homes, while others had to shelter in place.

Richard Lawson lives in the complex and heard gunshots at 2 a.m. He recorded the aftermath, hours later, on his cell phone.

“He comes out and you can hear them telling walk backwards. Walk towards me. Walk towards me, backwards,” Lawson said. “He’s walking backwards to ‘em, and they told him to get on his knees. And, he got on his knees. Before he could lay down, they just put the dog on the guy. You can see the dog just eating into the guy’s leg.”

Moriarty took a look at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office ‘use of force’ policy. There’s no mention of the procedure or rules for releasing a canine on a suspect.

In looking through their public database for 2022, 92.7% of officers said their reason for using force on a suspect was to overcome resistance. When it comes to a suspect’s injuries, data showed, there were only two incidents in 2022 involving a dog bite.

“Whoever did that, they should at least kick him off the damn force,” Dykes said. His nephew is currently in the hospital for his injuries from the dog bites.

A spokesperson with JSO said both the K9 and hander “remain in assignment.”

“I don’t feel for the guy because the guy inconvenienced children from going to school, people from going to work,” Lawson said.

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Dykes is currently charged with several crimes, including ‘shooting or throwing deadly missiles,’ ‘discharging firearm in public,’ ‘discharging a firearm on residential property,’ and ‘criminal mischief.’

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