Robot Snatched Gun, Disarming Los Angeles Bad Guy


Police robots are becoming more and more prevalent at departments across the USA.  Their use in the past has been to gather information without risking the lives of police officers. Their use against human suspects has been making news of late as well.  They scumbag who launched a one-man jihad against the Dallas Police Department met his maker thanks to a Dallas PD robot armed with an explosive charge.  And just this week, a suspect in Los Angeles County standoff with police had his gun swiped by a stealthy police robot while he wasn’t looking.  The LA suspect promptly surrendered without injury to anyone afterwards.  That’s a happy ending as well.

Here’s the details of the LA incident, as reported in the LA Times.

An hours-long standoff in the darkness of the high desert came to a novel end when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect, authorities said Thursday.

Officials said the use of the robot to disarm a violent suspect was unprecedented for the Sheriff’s Department, and comes as law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on military-grade technology to reduce the risk of injury during confrontations with civilians.

“The robot was a game changer here,” said Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Sheriff’s Department — the largest sheriff’s department in the nation. “We didn’t have to risk a deputy’s life to disarm a very violent man.”

About a dozen years ago, the Champaign County (IL) local bomb squad brought their robot to a Guns Save Life meeting and showed us how it worked.  It had the ability to shoot (two, single-shot 12-gauge smooth bores), x-ray, photograph, probe, prod, grab and carry things.  It could traverse stairs and talk to bad guys, too, and had some basic tools it could employ as well.  I don’t remember exactly what it cost, but the feds bought most of it.  I’m sure that if you’re the guy who doesn’t have to get shot at or mess with a explosive device, the robotic technology is priceless.

No doubt technology has advanced dramatically since then and will continue to do so.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    1 is none. Especially if you’re so clueless as to let a tracked vehicle sneak up on you.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Right? How do you even white zone when you’re _in a standoff_

      1. avatar CZ Peasy says:

        He probably fell asleep.

  2. avatar Juice says:

    Was the guy on heroin or what?

  3. avatar DEV says:

    Anyone else bothered by the increased use of military grade equipment versus “civilians”?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You must be new here.

    2. avatar Shire-man says:

      I’m all for anything that exacerbates the rise of the machines. The enemy surrounding themselves with tech they barely understand is a great thing.
      The battlefield will look a lot different when drones aren’t just targeting cavemen. Anything with a signal can and will be hacked. Even light itself.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Meanwhile, the Dutch are effectively using eagles (yes, EAGLES!) to take out ‘drones.’ It’s pretty cool.

        (Not the big kind of drones that carry building-destroying munitions, but the smaller surveillance kind).

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          How can we weaponize short-hair house cats? 🙂

          Since we proved cats *can* be herded:

    3. avatar indirect Action says:

      You volunteering to take out the next Dallas cop killer?

    4. avatar Hannibal says:

      Just because this thing has treads doesn’t make it a tank, buckaroo.

    5. avatar DaveL says:

      Complaining about the use of a “military grade” robot to peacefully end a standoff with zero casualties is like complaining about surplus “military grade” sleeping bags being given to the homeless.

  4. avatar Jp says:

    How do you not see or hear that thing. It’s not exactly small.

  5. avatar James69 says:

    Hey just the perfect thing to put that new mini chain gun on.

    Come with me or there will be trouble…..

  6. avatar Omer Baker says:

    I don’t really have a problem with robots per say, but I do have a problem with blowing up people when there is no imminent danger.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, when you’ve just ambushed a bunch of cops who were minding their own business, I’m thinking asking them to play fair is probably not going to work.

  7. avatar Omer Baker says:

    Then again, this robot thing might be a really good idea. Robots don’t care if you don’t respect their authori-ti, don’t care if they get home tonight, don’t care if they get punched, shot, bit, flipped off, spit on, bottles of pee thrown at them. Taking the human emotions out of law enforcement.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Your thought only applies to autonomous robots which do not yet exist.

      At the present time robots are simply an extension of the human being who is operating it. If that human loses his/her cool, the robot will do whatever that human commands it to do.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    I guess that the bad guy’s name is Dick Jones.

    1. avatar J says:

      After being fired, yes.

  9. avatar Joe R. says:

    Another verse,
    Same as the first… ?

    Cops have helped some of their problem w/robots, but potentially made yours (and theirs) worse.

    Bad guys are bad, not stupid (the CIA takes the predominance of their tecruits from Harvard and Yale to keep them on “our” side, and to countertact any foreign brain-trust).

    Cops are going to get the brunt of any anti-material weapons devised to counteract the robot war they just started with the bad guys, that the good guys are going to have to arm-up for too. Worse, tactically speaking, cops just made rhe bad guys have to interdict the cops closer to their precincts, or in open public, or in the cop’s homes.

    So. What’s your favorite caliber for droid?

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      So, the headline reads “Police robot takes gun away from bad guy”. Good.

      But part of your brain read LA Cops have a gun-grabber robot. What do they need labels of “bad guys” for they can (not do yheir own dirty work and) send a robot to go get your guns.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Yeah, we are rapidly approaching that cliff where government agents start using robots to attack good people who refuse to go quietly into the night.

        We would be wise to develop countermeasures sooner rather than later.

  10. avatar James in AZ says:

    Remember: carry a backup gun.

  11. avatar James69 says:

    Electronic countermeasures? Jammer?

  12. avatar Henry says:

    Asimov’s Three Laws: meet the Robocop Exception.

  13. avatar LHW says:

    Someone needs to learn some situational awareness.

  14. avatar Dan V says:

    Maybe the robot dropped a flashbang to “distact” him?

    Immediately I got a funny mental picture of a robot reaching, missing, reaching, missing….

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Robot pushing a tumbleweed in front of it. Slow. Easy. Gotta get that right track oiled, it squeeks. Easy. Easy.

  15. avatar kevin says:

    And all this time I thought police work was dangerous.

  16. avatar adverse4 says:

    Here come de bot……… come de bot……….

  17. avatar jwm says:


  18. avatar LordGopu says:

    Lol I know it probably grabbed the gun while he was asleep or something but it’s funny to imagine a robot just popping around a corner and snatching it from his hands then driving away with it.

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