A man from Tijeras, New Mexico was arrested for allegedly abusing and beating his partner after Alexa, an intelligent voice-powered personal assistant developed by Amazon, called the cops. This is believed to be the first time the device performs such a task.
28-year-old Eduardo Barros was at home with his girlfriend when he became enraged with jealousy over a text message she received. The confrontation escalated to the point that Barros started waving a gun at the victim, threatening her life and asking her if she had called the sheriffs.
The virtual assistant picked up Barros’ question as a prompt and immediately called 911. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department confirmed this via a statement published on their Facebook page. In the arrest warrant, it was detailed that Barros did, in fact, threaten to kill the victim.
“When 911 called her phone, Barros saw the caller ID and threw [her] to the floor,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the New York Post, “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.”
A crisis negotiation team arrived at the home along with a SWAT team. After nearly 6 hours of negotiations, police managed to remove the victim and her daughter before they sustained any life-threatening injuries.
“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. Barros is facing charges that include possession of a firearm, aggravated battery, and false imprisonment.
Alexa can be accessed using Amazon’s Echo speakers. Like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa can perform a range of managing and organizing tasks such as making lists, looking up information and playing music. The intelligent assistant is also capable of home automation, where it connects with thermostats, light switches and electronics using compatible apps.
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