New DPD SWAT robot will save lives, officials say

Published: Monday, December 01, 2014 @ 6:41 PM
Updated: Monday, December 01, 2014 @ 6:41 PM

            Dayton police use SWAT robot

The Dayton police SWAT team recently purchased a robot that officials say will increase officers’ safety.

Dayton city commissioners approved the purchase of the new robot at a November meeting. The Avatar III tactical robot designed by California-based Robotex Inc. costs nearly $60,000 and is scheduled to be delivered later this month. A third-generation machine, the robot features a specially-outfitted arm capable of opening doors and moving objects. A sophisticated track system allows it to climb stairs and roll over obstacles. It’ll also be equipped with a two-way communication system, allowing officers to speak to suspects holed up inside a building at a safe distance, said Lt. Joe Weisman, commander of the Dayton SWAT team.

“Before the robot, maybe we’d send in a K-9 and obviously a K-9 cannot open doors,” Weisman said. “This is just another progression in technology that’s making it easier and safer for everyone.”

In the past, the SWAT team had to use Dayton police’s bomb squad robot if they didn’t want to use an officer or K-9 during standoff situations. This robot will be used exclusively by the SWAT team, and could be deployed anywhere in the Miami Valley where the SWAT team is requested, Weisman said.

While the robot is similar to a remote-control car and about as easy to use, Robotex President Eric Ivers said it’s a heavy-duty, robust machine that can endure all sorts of tactical uses. Suspects have shot at the robots in the past— another reason he said the machines are safer and far superior to sending an officer in to negotiate or apprehend a suspect.

“You can throw it through a window, you can drive it upstairs, find the bad guy in the dark and have a conversation with him without ever going inside the building,” Ivers said.

Funding for the robot was already approved as part of Dayton police’s 2014 budget. Weisman said the money could come out of the general fund, or the department could use money collected through assets seized by officers. The team will begin using the robot as soon as it is delivered.

“By the time we get it outfitted, it is a lot of money, but saving one life, which I am sure this thing will do, will make it safer over the years and that’s a small price to pay,” he said.

Pike County Sheriff issues alert about criminal gang, heroin

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader issued a warning Monday to residents regarding “gang members” coming to the area and “‘taking out’ believed snitches.”

The unusual message — posted on Facebook and confirmed as authentic by dispatchers — did not reference the April 22, 2016, murders of eight people that have become synonymous with the rural southern Ohio county.

MORE: Pike County murders: Reward for killers increases

“MS-13, an International Criminal Gang and or Konvicted Family gang members are allegedly coming into Pike County this weekend,” the alert reads. “Possibly planning on ‘taking out’ believed snitches and spread (sic) ‘HOTSHOTS’ of heavily laced Heroin into the area that could cause an extremely large amount of overdoses in Pike County and surrounding counties.”

“This is according to very limited intelligence deputies have gathered in recent drug related investigations across the area in the past weeks,” the notice stated.

A dispatcher at the Pike County Sheriff’s Office said no additional details are available.

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said, “We are not involved with this.”

MORE: Pike County murder investigation leads to drug arrests

Gang or cartel involvement have long been theories in the mysterious deaths of eight people in Pike County.

Initial reports that investigators found a large marijuana grow operation at the crime scene fueled speculation that Mexican drug cartels could be involved, considering the apparent sophistication of the crime and prior reports that Mexican organized crime was previously active in the area.

But Reader played down the Mexican cartel idea last year in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati.

“With the nature of the investigation, and the things that’s been revealed while conducting the investigation, there would be no indication to me as to any type of Mexican drug cartel being involved,” he said. “It wasn’t because they had a couple little indoor grows, wasn’t because there was just a couple of cars on the property that may have been stolen. It’s much bigger than that.”

Read more coverage of the Pike County murders:

» Alaska, Ohio police ‘inundated’ with Pike County murders tips

» Alaska pastor says Ohio family attended church

» Who are the Wagners? Investigators want to know

Man who shot wife in Germantown sentenced

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 8:55 AM

Thomas A. Shockey (Montgomery County Jail)
Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 2:00 p.m.:

Thomas Shockey, 71, was sentenced to five years in prison for shooting his wife and hitting her in the head last September, according to court officials.


DAYTON — A 71-year-old Germantown man accused of shooting his wife in the stomach and hitting her in the head in their home will be sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court today.

Thomas Shockey, a Germantown resident, called 911 and admitted he shot his wife on September 4, 2016

RELATED: Germantown man calls 911, admits he tried to kill his wife

Shockey is facing a felonious assault charge. 

MC Sheriff’s Office looking for garage break-in suspect

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help identifying a suspect in a recent garage break in. 

The break in occurred on Lago Mar Drive in Washington Township. The suspect is seen carrying a flashlight as he walks around the garage and opens a vehicle's door.

The unknown male subject then notices the surveillance cameras and leaves the scene.

He is identified as a male who has a beard and is wearing a baseball style hat, a long sleeve shirt, and blue jeans. A vehicle was not seen leaving the area.

If you have any information regarding the person seen in the photos you are asked to contact Detective Ridgeway at 937-432-2766.

Police: Man allegedly hit wife with prosthetic leg

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:01 PM

Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

A man in Ohio is accused of striking his wife with one of his prosthetic legs, police said.

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Police responded Friday to a home in Sandusky on a disorderly conduct call, The Associated Press reported. Ronna Wilson told police that her husband, Richard T. Wilson Sr., 63, threw one of his prosthetic legs at her, striking her in the head. She claimed she suffered wrist injuries while trying to defend herself when her husband attempted to hit her with his other prosthetic leg.

Police arrested the man on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. He denies assaulting his wife, The Associated Press reported.