Flat Rock K9 officer helps rescue 95-year-old man who fell in woods

An amazing rescue story after an elderly man wanders off and doesn’t come home.

A police body camera captured the heartfelt reunion – a Brownstown Township family reunited with their 95-year-old loved one after he disappeared.

“Having the use of a dog, I think, really saved him in this case,” Lt. Andrew Starzec said.

Lt. Starzec says the elderly man was visiting the United States from Canada and spoke limited English. On Sunday evening, the Mans family frantically called Brownstown Township police after he went for a walk and did not return.

“One of the concerns was that the gentleman didn’t have a cell phone,” he said. “There’s really no way to communicate with him. You can’t track him, like you can with young people, who always have their cellphones attached to them.”

But Flat Rock’s K9 police officer, Xander, doesn’t need any technology – just his nose and his handler, Sgt Brian Tetreau.

“We always try to rush these things – because time is key,” Tetreau said.

Brownstown Township police called the couple to join the search near the family’s home near King and Inkster.

“He started doing his thing,” said Sgt. Tetreau. “We started following. His nose is much better than mine. We went a few hundred yards, all of a sudden he came up to him and started sniffing his feet.”

The man fell in a small wooded area and was unable to get up. He couldn’t be heard calling for help either.

After being treated for minor injuries, the man returned to his family’s home – an emergency that quickly turned into relief.

“From the start of the track to the end of the track, I would say (took) even less than half an hour,” Tetreau said. “You can find someone who is lost, confused, usually old people or children. It’s finding a career, because you’re actually helping someone.”

Tetreau insists he’s no hero – but he says he knows one.

“Alex is not me,” he said. “I’m just the guy at the end of the leash and he tells me where to go. I watch him because we’re doing work that we love to do, and I’ll do it every day.”

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