A police dog is being hailed a hero after the K9 saved the life of a Mississippi sheriff's deputy, ripping into the men authorities say dragged the officer into the woods Monday in an ambush attack.

A manhunt is under way Wednesday for the three suspects who beat Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy Todd Frazier and slashed him with a box cutter, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

"They told him they were going to slit his throat, and they were dragging him toward the woods," Chief Deputy Don Bass told the newspaper.

"He had blood all over him."

- Sheriff Ricky Adam

Frazier's life was saved Monday by his K9 partner, Lucas, a black Belgian Malinois who police say chased the assailants down before they could slit Frazier's throat, according to the newspaper. 

Authorities said Frazier was able to activate the button that opens the door to his vehicle, releasing Lucas. Sheriff Ricky Adam told the newspaper the dog bit at least one, possibly two, of the suspects.

"We don't know how many he got, we just know he had blood all over him," Adam said. 

The attack happened Monday when Frazier got out of his car to inspect a blue Lincoln Town Car with a darker vinyl top that was sitting at a rest stop, according to the newspaper. The driver appeared to be alone and the car's lights were off. 

"When he got out, two other people came out of the woods right by the vehicle, and he backed up and fell, and it was on then," Adam told the paper. 

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at 228-255-9191.

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