WILMINGTON, NEW HANOVER COUNTY - A Wilmington police officer cleared of wrongdoing after a police dog was lifted into the window of a suspect's vehicle, is returning to the force in a different role.
Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said Thursday that K-9 Ofc. Stafford Brister will remain an active member of the department, but will return as a patrol officer. Evangelous said Brister's return date hasn't been determined.
Video of a police chase shows Brister approaching a suspect's car after it had been stopped following a 13-minute chase. The video shows Brister lifting his dog into the open window and the dog biting Johnnie Lamont Williams, who had driven through a checkpoint.
Brister's attorney said the officer was protecting himself and other officers against the possibility that Williams would try to move his vehicle again.