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Negotiator not enough to help calm tense situation at home

Armored vehicle, robot used to find woman in bathroom

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office is crediting its new armored vehicle for helping deputies save a life.

They were called to a home on Florida Road about 4 miles east of Durango on Thursday afternoon after a report of shots fired. A verbal argument about the use of a vehicle between 65-year-old Linda Provosty and her ex-husband had escalated when she allegedly fired several shots at him as he was leaving. No one was injured.

“When deputies arrived, Linda Provosty was in the house and refused to come out,” sheriff’s office spokesman Dan Bender said. “During attempts by La Plata County Sheriff’s Office negotiators to talk Provosty into surrendering, she threatened to harm deputies on scene.”

She still had the gun.

“The steep terrain and height of the house made it too dangerous for deputies to safely approach in patrol vehicles or on foot,” Bender said. “Using their newly acquired Maximum Protection Vehicle, the (Special Weapons and Tactics) team was able to drive next to the house. One SWAT team member in the turret was able to look directly into the home and direct other SWAT team members as they cleared the garage.

“They then used the MaxProV as a shield to protect team members as they carried a robot to the house and were able to deploy it to find Provosty in a bathroom, unconscious from an apparent overdose of pills,” Bender said.

The team members carried Provosty down the hill to waiting paramedics. She was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center, then transferred to a hospital in either Denver or Colorado Springs. Her condition and whereabouts were not available Friday evening.

Bender said the investigation is continuing, and investigators were preparing a warrant Friday. There were several offenses she could be charged with, he said, but he did not know which would be included in the warrant.

The Sheriff’s Office got the armored vehicle from the Department of Defense as part of its distribution of surplus equipment to law enforcement departments across the nation.

The so-called militarization of American law enforcement has come under scrutiny since the police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, led to protests. Ferguson’s Police Department responded in a BearCat armored truck and carried military assault rifles – images many people, including Congressional leaders, found disturbing.


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