Phoenix Police Department Canine Handler Mike Lin has been selected as a TOP COP by NAPO, the National Association of Police Organizations, for his actions during the early morning hours of March 3, 2014 while responding to emergency radio traffic of a burglary in progress near Downtown Phoenix.
While en-route, at the intersection of North 3rd Street and East Palm Lane, he observed an adult male subject riding a bicycle with a four year old female wearing pajamas in his lap. As the subject turned the corner, he nearly fell off the bicycle and rode away. Based on what he observed, Officer Lin decided to contact the subject, who did not stop, despite Officer Lin activating his emergency lights. Officer Lin was able to get ahead of the subject, cutting him off, and forcing him to stop.
Officer Lin observed the child crying and when he asked the subject what he was doing, he told Officer Lin he was taking the child home although he could not tell him where she lived and the child said she did not know the subject, who was eventually detained by Officer Lin.
Follow-up investigation revealed that the subject entered the child’s home, which was nearby and unbeknownst to her parents, removed her. Additional investigation, including a search warrant of the suspect’s phone, showed evidence that the child had inappropriate pictures taken of her after the kidnapping before Officer Lin rescued her.
Statistics from the National Center of Missing & Expoited Children show that 75% of children kidnapped are murdered within the first 3 hours of the kidnapping and 99% are dead within 24 hours. Sexually motivated kidnappings, such as this one, more often than not, fall into this category.
Officer Lin’s prompt actions no doubt saved this child from further victimization and a likely death.
Congratulations, Officer Lin!