Police use robot to negotiate with barricaded Avon man
November 9, 2009
AVON, Colorado – No one was injured Saturday night in Wildridge, where a 61-year-old man reported to be armed with handguns barricaded himself into a home, Avon Police Chief Brian Kozak said.
The Jefferson County Bomb Squad sent a robot into the house to help negotiate with the man, Kozak said.
Around 1:30 a.m., police were able to safely negotiate the man into protective custody, Kozak said. The subject remained at the Vail Valley Medical Center on Sunday morning, where he had been receiving psychological evaluation, Kozak said.
About 40 law enforcement personnel responded to the incident, which unfolded over the course of nine and a half hours, he said.
Just before 4 p.m. Saturday, Avon police received a report about a barricaded subject with a hostage in Wildridge, Kozak said. However, police assessed the situation and found the man had taken no hostages, he said.
The man was alone in the house and reported to have two firearms, Kozak said.
“Our concern was that he would use the gun on himself, or if the officers went into the home, that he would use the gun on the officers,” Kozak said.
The Vail Communications Center called neighbors within half a mile of the home, which stands on East Wildridge Road near Coyote Ridge, to notify them they should stay inside, he said.
Over several hours of negotiations, police tried to call the barricaded man, but he had disconnected his home phone and damaged his cell, Kozak said. Police also tried to communicate with the man using a bullhorn. They eventually broke a window in an attempt to get a phone to the man, Kozak said.
Finally, the bomb squad deployed a robot to negotiate with the man, Kozak said. The robot, which was armed with video cameras and a speaker system, located the man in the living room, Kozak said.
Police are not releasing the man’s name or the address of the incident.
Avon Police, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, the Eagle County Sheriff’s special operations unit, Jefferson County Bomb Squad, Eagle Police and the Eastern Eagle County Ambulance District responded, according to a press release. Negotiators from the Avon and Eagle police departments along with those from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office also responded.