GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Grand Prairie used unusual methods to negotiate with a man during a standoff on Monday morning. The incident started at just after midnight at the Sugar Creek Apartments located in the 900 block of Duncan Perry Road.
Authorities were called to the scene in regards to a domestic disturbance and a possible intoxicated female. They arrived and detained the woman, then went to speak with a man inside of an apartment unit. Officials explained that they were going to take the woman for a few hours, and the man agreed.
But the man soon changed his mind. He called 911 and demanded that police release the woman from custody. He threatened suicide and indicated that he had a gun.
Police deployed a SWAT team around the apartment complex and an overnight standoff then ensued. However, both the man and the woman are legally deaf. Officials were forced to negotiate with the suspect using Relay Texas, a telephone service for individuals with speech or hearing impairments.
The service which was used is similar to Skype, and allowed officers to use sign language and hand signals through a video display in order to communicate with the barricaded suspect. “This was an interesting case that I’ve never seen in my 20-year career as a police officer,” said Det. Lyle Gensler with the Grand Prairie Police Department. “We communicated with somebody via video technology.”
The suspect was taken into custody just before 6:30 a.m. on Monday and transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas for an evaluation. He did not appear to be intoxicated, police said. Nobody was injured during the incident. Officials do not anticipate filing any charges.
Just after the situation was resolved, Gensler said that the technology “turned out to work and be very effective.”
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