WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office is in the business of serving and protecting our community, and yesterday they did just that.
Around 10 a.m. they got word of an attempted suicide. Deputies say they had to act quickly, and when they heard the man wanting to take his own life was armed, they turned to a unique piece of equipment detectives say made all the difference.
Detectives say the robot provides an extra set of eyes for situations like yesterday, when a man barricaded himself in his home. Deputies say without the help of this robot, the Emergency Response Team would have been blind to what the man was doing inside the house.
Among its many capabilities, the robot was able to serve as a speaker for negotiators and monitor the attempted suicide yesterday. Through the robot, deputies managed to get the man to surrender his gun, but that's when the man tried to hang himself.
Detectives saw the attempt through the robot's camera. That's when they moved in.
"The utilization of the robot was a key factor in allowing us to establish negotiations without putting any person in harm," Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Jerry Brewer said. "We didn't have to send in a deputy. We didn't have to send in one of our ERT members. We were able to utilize that piece of technology and come to a positive outcome of no one being hurt."
This robot is primarily used for retrieving bombs with the county's bomb squad.