An Applied Research Associates' Pointman tactical robot was hit four times by 12-gauge shotgun shells at close range during a Bellevue (Neb.) Police Department SWAT callout, and survived the encounter, according to the company.
Prior to being disabled, the robot was able to monitor a key exitway for multiple hours and relay the position and disposition of the suspect to SWAT officers staged further away.
"Had we not deployed the Pointman robot there is a good chance we would have had SWAT officers much closer to that doorway and possibly in harm's way," said Dave Stukenholtz of the Bellevue PD.
Repairs were completed in less than a month and the robot was shipped back to Bellevue on Oct. 11 to resume its SWAT responsibilities.
The callout came on the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 10, when officers responded to a report of an unstable man with a gun. Responding officers approached the house, but retreated and established a perimeter after shots were fired from the home. The SWAT team was then called in.
While operating from a neighboring garage, the SWAT team navigated their Pointman tactical robot into a position inside the suspect's garage to monitor the exitway. Negotiations continued for several hours. During that period of time, the officer in control of the Pointman viewed the suspect emerging from the garage doorway attempting to close the garage door with his firearm in hand. He then fired four rounds from his shotgun at the Pointman, disabling it. Following that activity, teargas was introduced into the home and the suspect surrendered.