Watch as the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office uses a robot to help end an incident involving a man who discharged a firearm, threatened family members and barricaded himself in his home. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office on Friday released video showing a police robot carefully lifting latches and door handles — even scaring off a dog — to enter the home of a man who had barricaded himself inside.

The robot was from the Flagstaff Police Department, which assisted in resolving the Thursday incident alongside the Sheriff’s Office, Navajo Nation police, the state Department of Public Safety, Guardian Air and Tuba Regional Health Care Security.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to respond to Tuba City, where a man, later identified as 54-year-old Allen Lynch Jr., had barricaded himself inside his home after a “domestic disturbance” that prompted him to discharge his firearm and threaten family members, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Navajo police requested the assistance.

Residents were evacuated from the area because of the firearm, the Sheriff’s Office said.

After more than seven hours of negotiations with Lynch, law enforcement used the robot to enter his residence, officials said. Officials later released the video, showing the robot’s arm carefully reaching out to lift the latch to a gate, roll past a dog, then lift a door latch.

A tactical team secured the residence and took Lynch into custody, the Sheriff’s Office said. 

Lynch was transported to the Tuba City Regional Health Care facility for evaluation and was later booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility in Flagstaff.

He faces charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct with a firearm and criminal damage, the Sheriff’s Office said.


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