Police negotiating with suspect use robot to enter apartment

ST. GEORGE – A 54-year-old man who barricaded himself in an apartment Thursday kept law enforcement busy for over seven hours, according to the Coconino County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office reported Friday that it had been contacted by the Navajo Police Department concerning Allen Lynch, Jr., around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Lynch reportedly discharged a firearm and threatened a family member during a domestic incident, according to a press release from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident occurred at the Pasture Canyon Apartments, a facility belonging to the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.

Though the incident took place on land overseen by the Navajo Police Department, as it involved two non-Native American individuals, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office was asked to handle the situation.

Since a weapon had been fired, the apartments surrounding the barricaded Lynch were evacuated and police engaged in negotiations for the next seven and a half hours.

Ultimately police used a robot from the Flagstaff, Arizona, Police Department to enter the apartment.

“The Tactical Team was able to secure the residence and take Mr. Lynch into custody,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the press release.

See video of the robot entering the apartment in media player above.

File: An example of a robot used by police agencies. This is one of the remote-controlled robots used by the Washington County bomb squad, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Navajo Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Flagstaff Police/Coconino Sheriff Tactical Team, Guardian Air based out of Tuba City, and security personnel from Tuba City Regional Health Care.

Lynch was transported to the Tuba City Regional Health Care for medical evaluation and later booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility in Flagstaff, Arizona, under charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct with a firearm and criminal damage.

Law enforcement agencies use specialized robots in uncertain and potentially dangerous circumstances which could otherwise prove put officer’s life at risk. Known uses of police robots in Washington County have primarily been attached to actions involving the Washington County Bomb Squad.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • Larry June 27, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Looks like the Robot has a long way to go to become a real police officer. It has yet to be taught how to freak out, fear for it’s life, wet it’s pants… and then Shoot the Family Pet.

    • mesaman June 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Wow man! Like that’s really heavy. You know what I mean? Like you really dig deep, man.

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