Brian Nason had been on the run for two hours by the time dog squad cop Gavin Lawrence and his German shepherd Odie arrived in residential Albion Park Rail to join the police manhunt.
They began behind a house on Pioneer Drive where 32-year-old Nason had earlier stabbed a man and shot at a woman with a bow, his steel tipped arrow coming so close to her body that it pierced her clothing.
Clad head to toe in camouflage, Nason had jumped the back fence and disappeared.
Now the area teemed with police.
Nearby residents were warned to lock their doors. The PolAir helicopter beat overhead, providing eyes from the sky.
Soon though, when the chopper went to refuel and the focus of the search shifted to a backyard where a resident had reported suspicious noises, Senior Constable Lawrence and Odie found themselves alone in a quiet, poorly lit industrial part of Oak Flats.
Mr Lawrence, who has since left the NSW Police Force, was this week awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct at the Australian Bravery Awards, for the role he played in the March 28, 2010 search.
He worked for two years with Odie. The dog functioned best on lush, green surfaces that were freshly trod; not the gravelly terrain of Industrial Road, in search of an old trail such as Nason's.
Snr Const Lawrence noted Odie's actions when the dog twisted its body tellingly into the fence of an industrial property. It could be picking up the scent of a security guard or someone else who had recently left the place, he thought.
But when the dog gave the same indication on another of the property's boundaries, on Mineral Road, Snr Const Lawrence grew increasingly alert.
At the end of Mineral Road the bitumen became scrub.
Snr Const Lawrence extended Odie's lead. The dog was tracking now, he saw, striding with purpose, nose firm to the ground, tail straight up.
He tracked over a creek and onto a dark, narrow trail covered over with lantana.
Snr Const Lawrence thought of Nason, who had last been seen with a netted mask covering his face and a multitude of knives and arrow heads strapped to his body.
The circumstances make the hairs on his arms stand up to this day. "In the back of my head I was thinking, I don't like the feel of this at all," Mr Lawrence, a former Army Reservist, told the Mercury this week.
"I was aware of [the possibility of] an ambush. [Nason] had just tried to kill two people. He was on [drugs], he was known to the police as being violent.
"The dog was panting and sound carries a long way at night. It was dead still. It was just me, the dog and him waiting at the end.
"He would see and hear me coming before I would see him."
He carried on for 25 to 30 metres along the trail. Then Odie stopped and lifted his head, usually a sign the track had been overshot.
Snr Const Lawrence pulled the dog in and got halfway through a 180-degree turn when he saw the camouflaged back of a man, only three metres away.
Nason was lying on the bush floor, some of his multitude of knives spread around him.
"Show me your hands! Show me your hands ... Show me your hands or I'll put the dog onto you," Snr Const Lawrence ordered.
The wanted man made no sound or movement.
The dog was barking now. At Snr Const Lawrence's order - "rouse" - it ran at Nason, took the crotch of his pants in its mouth and pulled him from his position.
Later, as Nason was frogmarched out of the scrub, he told police: "Lucky you got me, I was waiting for the chopper to go and I was going back to kill 'em".
Mr Lawrence received the dog unit's Titan Award and the force's second-highest honour, the Commissioner's Commendation for Courage, in the wake of Nason's capture.
He said the latest commendation "brought back a lot of memories" of an important win.
"There's an amazing feeling of euphoria when you do find someone. You feel like punching the air."
Nason is serving a six-year prison sentence for the stabbing.
He failed to get parole when he became eligible in March 2014; his full sentence will expire on September 27, 2016.