Police use drone to help end six-hour standoff peacefully

Daytona Beach police say their drone helped them end a six-hour standoff peacefully.

Police said the suspect, David Allen, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, barricaded himself in his hotel room and said he had a grenade.

Officers said the standoff was able to end peacefully because of their eyes in the sky. 

Officers used a drone to look into the man’s hotel room.

“He did have a grenade, but it turned out to be a dummy grenade that was hollowed out from the bottom, so realistically he was no real threat,” Daytona Beach Police Deputy Chief Jakari Young said.

FOX 35 spoke with former Orange County detective turned security consultant James Copenahver about the use of the drone. 

He said it is a good example of how technology is helping police in these types of dangerous situations.

“It certainly amplified the officers’ safety aspect of it, so they can deploy these units without a cop looking in the window, if you will,” Copenhaver said.

He said this is a smart move by cops because the suspects aren’t expecting it.

“The drone can fly up there,” Copenhaver said. “They’re very quiet. I’m sure the bad guy had his intention waiting for the front door. Waiting for law enforcement to smash in and they sort played and in, around if you will, and caught him by surprise.”

He expects to see law enforcement continue to use technology to safely diffuse these situations.

“They’re just being smarter than the bad guy, and they’re winning these events now,” Copenhaver said.

The suspect in this case has been charged with aggravated assault and for making a false bomb threat.