LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It’s at least 700 pounds and about $300,000. But sheriff’s officials say this expensive heavyweight is swift and invaluable.
“It’s extremely effective, we consider it a game changer,” Capt. Jack Ewell, of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said.
A robot was brought in last week when Lancaster deputies were after a man wanted for attempted murder and other crimes. The man tried to
hide out in a small dugout dirt berm with shrubs and fencing wire around it. Deputies in a helicopter above and in an armored vehicle on the ground tried to get him to
surrender. Using the noise from the helicopter, a special weapons team quietly brought in the robot behind the suspect, who was on his stomach facing the
deputies with a shotgun.
“The robot was able to move up and grab the gun without him noticing it and then back up out of the way and then deliver that gun to awaiting
deputies,” Ewell said.
Capt. Ewell says when they sent the robot back in to tear off the wiring around the suspect, he went for his weapon. When he saw that is was gone, he surrendered.
“A very very violent situation was brought to a safe conclusion,” Ewell said. “We don’t recall another situation where a team has been able to use a robot to
disarm a gunman and keep all of their deputies and the public safe.”