HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – A man who was allegedly carrying a gun on a bus in Hollywood was taken into custody Wednesday in an operation that featured the deployment of the Los Angeles Police Department’s recently acquired robot dog.
A SWAT team was sent to the area of Western and Melrose avenues about 4:40 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A roughly two-hour standoff ensued, with some reports indicating the man may have fallen asleep on the bus.
The man was taken into custody about 6:30 a.m., and no injuries were reported, police said. His name was not immediately available.
During the standoff, LAPD personnel deployed the recently acquired Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle robot to assist in taking the suspect into custody. The four-legged machine could be seen marching around the bus at the scene.
“The QUGV robot is a versatile and agile robot that can navigate challenging terrain and perform a variety of tasks,” according to the LAPD website.
Police said the robot was used mainly to give officers a closer look at the suspect, who ultimately surrendered.
The Los Angeles City Council in May approved the department’s acceptance of the donated $278,000 robot. The decision followed weeks of debate sparked by concerns from some community groups who feared the robot would be deployed for neighborhood surveillance or even outfitted with weapons — suggestions that were strongly rebuffed by police.
LAPD officials insisted the robot would be used only in SWAT, hazardous materials and search-and-rescue operations, and that it would never be equipped with any type of weapons or facial-recognition technology.