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Georgia Officer Stung 100 Times by Yellow Jacket Swarm

September 25, 2014  | 

Officer John Ritch and K-9 Grizz (Photo: Brookhaven PD)
Officer John Ritch and K-9 Grizz (Photo: Brookhaven PD)

A Brookhaven, Ga., police officer was rushed to the hospital after a swarm of yellow jackets attacked him during a chase Wednesday.   

The officer and his K-9 pursued a suspect on foot into a wooded area and stepped into a yellow jacket nest. "They were immediately covered by hundreds, if not thousands of yellow jackets," said Brookhaven Police Maj. Brandon Gurley.  

Officials told WSB TV the officer, identified as John Ritch, suffered about 100 stings and suffered a severe allergic reaction.   

The reaction was so bad that Ritch's fellow officers decided they couldn't wait for an ambulance and drove him to Grady Memorial Hospital in a police car. That decision prevented the officer from getting any worse.

"He's in stable condition and he's continuing to improve and the doctors here are just monitoring him and observing his status,” Gurley said. Police say Ritch remained in the hospital as of noon Thursday but is expected to be released later in the day.

The K-9 named Grizz was treated for stings by a vet and released.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Brian @ 9/25/2014 3:44 PM

Good News! Heal up soon! Prayers!

TheRookie @ 9/25/2014 5:46 PM

Hoping for a good recovery. Not being mean but, LOL. He should now be immune from yellow jackets or any other similar stinging type critter.
Was chasing a suspect while a Deputy in Oregon & went through poison ivy. Later on was stung by approx. 100 + bees. Have never been allergic to or afraid of them critters every since. I get stung now I don't even feel it.

Ima Leprechaun @ 9/26/2014 1:11 AM

I hope both the Officer and his K-9 are doing well. The Officer's K-9 condition is not mentioned in the above article but on the hyperlink the K-9 too suffered a similar reaction to the bee stings and was treated at a vet's office.

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