Suspect faces DWI charges after North Carolina K-9 officer’s car hit by pickup truck

State - Regional

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A Durham police K-9 officer and his patrol cruiser were struck by a suspected drunk driver late Wednesday night in Durham, a city spokesperson said.

K-9 officer B.K. Gardner was driving north on Guess Road at about 10:50 p.m. when a pickup truck pulled out from a stop sign in front of Gardner.

The driver of the pickup, identified as Byron Cinto-Lopez, then fled on foot from the vehicle.

Byron Cinto-Lopez

Choco, the officer’s K-9, was not in the vehicle at the time of the collision.

Cinto-Lopez was later apprehended and arrested by Durham police and is facing six charges:

  • Driving while impaired,
  • felony hit-and-run,
  • no operator’s license,
  • aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle,
  • driving while license revoked for DWI and
  • failure to yield right of way.

Cinto-Lopez has been placed in the Durham County Jail under a $7,500 bond.

Gardner has been taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

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