An irate husband who barricaded himself in an apartment building after shooting a Los Angeles Police officer in the face forced the LAPD's SWAT unit to call out special equipment.
This domestic-violence call was combustible from the start, and resulted in a 24-hour standoff for the LAPD's tactical officers. After shooting canine officer Steve Jenkins in the face at 2:45 a.m. on April 4, Sergio Salazar barricaded himself in the Sylmar apartment where he had attacked his wife a day earlier.
LAPD tactical officers used tear gas. They deployed "hot gas." They exchanged fire with Salazar, who refused to leave the residence.
Eventually, SWAT officers called in the BatCat to begin demolishing the residence to reach Salazar. The BatCat — formerly known as the Bomb Assault Tactical Control Assessment Tool — is a massive automated robot that can be operated remotely and is part-truck and part-tractor. A telescoping arm can bring a claw, forklift or bucket up to 50 feet.
The vehicle is similar to the telescopic handlers widely used in the agriculture industry. Built on a Caterpillar base, the BatCat weighs 39,000 pounds and can be driven up to 6 mph, reports the Los Angeles Times.
To extract Salazar, the LAPD deployed the BatCat to begin tearing away sections of the apartment building. Eventually, officers who entered the building found Salazar dead.
However, command staff members were impressed with the BatCat, so keep your eyes out for this tactical tool. I'm sure we'll see it deployed again.
Related: Suspect Who Shot LAPD Officer Found Dead In Home
Watch video of the BatCat:
VIDEO: LAPD's Remotec BatCat Robot