Los Angeles police disarm an attempted murder suspect with a robot

best police scanner apps
federicofoto / 123RF
The killing of five police officers in downtown Dallas this summer resulted in police using a remote-controlled robot to detonate and end the murderer’s spree. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies recently used a similar method to prevent another tragedy. And this time, they even spared the gunman’s life.

An hours-long standoff in the Antelope Valley ended with police swiping a rifle from an attempted murder suspect using a remote-controlled robot, the Los Angeles Times reported, marking another effective use of military-grade technology in local law enforcement to reduce further risk of injury or death for suspects, officers, and civilians.

Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (the largest in the nation) told the LA Times that the robot was a game changer in the situation.

“We didn’t have to risk a deputy’s life to disarm a very violent man,” he said.

Related: Man charged with necrophilia had his phone illegally searched, court rules

The incident occurred late on Sept. 8, when “the suspect, Brock Ray Bunge, 51, fled into a dark, remote field in the Antelope Valley. A sheriff’s helicopter eventually tracked him down to a dirt berm, where he holed up surrounded by shrubbery and wire fencing.”

When Bunge refused to surrender to the deputies, a SWAT team worked unsuccessfully to force a surrender for more than six hours. The officials set the robot out to get a better view of the suspect’s hideout and learned that he was on his stomach with a rifle at his feet.

“To seize the firearm, they hatched a plan that relied on distractions. Deputies in an armored vehicle approached to the front of Bunge, yelling at him through a public address system to surrender. A helicopter whirred overhead,” the Times reported. “From behind, the olive-colored robot approached and extended its claw into Bunge’s hideout.”

Bunge didn’t notice the robot’s successful recovery of the rifle, and deputies obtained the gun as he immediately surrendered.

The Andros robot cost approximately $300,000, and is typically used for bomb disposal. In this case, the robot proved effective in an alternative use case, saving the lives of officers, potential victims, and the suspect himself.

“When it saves lives, it is more than worth it,” Ewell told the Times.

Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.
Movies & TV

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Everything we know so far

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.
Deals

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.