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Williamsport man allegedly steals police cruiser with K-9 dog inside

A Williamsport man who allegedly likened his parents to celestial bodies stole a city police cruiser with a K-9 police dog inside on Dec. 23, Williamsport police say.

Christopher Dryden, 39, of Williamsport, allegedly approached the rear intercom to city hall at around 4 p.m. and told police his “father is the sun” and his “mother is the moon,” according to Tyson Minier, a city officer.

After Dryden left and returned, he allegedly left camera view again while Minier heard his K-9 dog, Tacoma, barking “as he is trained to [do] when anyone other [than] myself approaches.”

Dryden allegedly drove the vehicle off the rear ramp, Minier said, and he and Sergeant Richard Hofford of the city police chased the cruiser on foot.

Minier said he was able to wrestle the door open from Dryden, who allegedly tried to keep the door closed. Hofford allegedly tazed Dryden and took him into custody.

According to Minier, Dryden allegedly tormented K-9 Tacoma, who Minier said was trained to protect the vehicle.

“With the male entering the vehicle this caused Tacoma to be tormented even further and he struck his head numerous times on the cage trying to reach the occupant,” Minier said.

City police later reported K-9 Tacoma was unharmed during the incident.

Minier reported the cruiser and its contents are valued at $20,000, while K-9 Tacoma is valued at $15,000.

Dryden was arraigned by judge Aaron Biichle for charges of theft, taunting a police dog, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and driving with a suspended license. Biichle set bail for $7,500. Unable to post bail, Dryden remains confined to Lycoming County Prison until his preliminary hearing Jan. 7.

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