A man was arrested for allegedly beating his girlfriend and threatening to kill her – after he inadvertently ordered a smart home device to called police on himself.
Eduardo Barros, 28, became angry with his unidentified girlfriend while house sitting in Tijeras, about 15 miles east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 2.
According to the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department’s spokesperson, Deputy Felicia Romero, the dispute escalated into a physical altercation. Barros allegedly wielded a firearm and threatened to kill his girlfriend, asking her,
“Did you call the sheriffs?”
A smart speaker, which was hooked up to a surround sound system inside the home, recognized that as a voice command and called 911, Romero said.
It’s unclear whether the speaker was connected to an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot device, but the Alexa virtual assistant was connected to a landline in the home, Romero said.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the New York Post:
“Barros told her she was not going anywhere and he was going to kill her. When 911 called her phone, Barros saw the caller ID and threw [her] to the floor. Barros then kicked her while on the ground at least 10 times in the face and stomach. Barros told [the victim] he could not believe the cops had been called and he was not going back to prison and that she knew he was a felon. [The victim] stated she thought she was going to be killed or shot.”
The woman, who received minor injuries during the incident, was safely removed from the home.
Barros, a convicted felon, was taken into custody after an hours-long standoff with a crisis negotiation team and a SWAT team. He is facing charges of possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, aggravated battery against a household member, aggravated assault against a household member, and false imprisonment, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.
Police said the smart device potentially played a life-saving role in the incident, reports ABC:
“The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life. This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation,” Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III said in a statement.
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