Oxnard Police Department’s first drone deployment assists with the arrest of a brandishing suspect

Oxnard Police Department – Incident Press Release

At 11:46 PM on 11/12/2019, Oxnard Police Department officers responded to the 1900 block of North Ventura Road, regarding a report of a subject brandishing a firearm. Responding officers saw the suspect run into a nearby neighborhood. Officers established a perimeter around the area where the suspect was seen running.  Officers, assisted by Police K-9’s “Rocky” and “Capone” began a systematic search of the area.

The Oxnard Police Department’s recently formed Unmanned Aerial System Unit responded and deployed a small unmanned aerial vehicle (commonly referred to as a “drone”). The drone was equipped with a thermal camera to assist with locating the suspect, who was hiding in the rear yard of a residence on the 1300 block of Kingswood Drive.  The drone also carried a loudspeaker, and it was used to make announcements to the suspect for him to surrender and comply with officers.

The suspect, identified as Alex Perez, peacefully surrendered to officers.  Perez was arrested for brandishing a weapon, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Officers also located a replica handgun that Perez had discarded.

The Oxnard Police Department recently received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate small unmanned aerial vehicles, and this was the department’s first deployment.

Assistant Chief Jason Benites said, “We are very pleased that our first drone deployment was able to assist our officers in taking a potentially dangerous suspect into custody.  Last night’s deployment is a great example of how this quickly-evolving technology can be used to make our communities safer.”

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Oxnard Police Department at (805) 385-7600, or online via the Oxnard Police Department’s website: www.oxnardpd.org, and clicking on Report Suspicious Activity.  You can remain anonymous if you choose to do so.  You can also remain anonymous by calling the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. 

Oxnard drone assisting the arrest of a brandishing suspect (at right).

Drone’s thermal imagery depicts officers approaching suspect (at right).

 


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