Smart Home Device Dials 911 During Domestic Abuse

Posted On : 07/14/2017

Technology is getting smarter by the day. During a recent domestic abuse confrontation, a smart home device dialed police authorities on its own. Well, kinda.

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — You always wonder if rumors regarding governmental tapping through electronics is true. From the onset, this case would appear to confirm this suspicion. Yet, not exactly.

What you say matters…

According to ABC News, Eduardo Barros was house sitting with his girlfriend and her daughter. Sometime during the night, the couple began to argue, and the confrontation became physical.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Deputy Felicia Romero mentions Barros — during the altercation — specifically asked his girlfriend, “Did you call the sheriff?

However, the smart home device picked up the phrase “call the sheriff,” according to Gizmodo. And that’s exactly what it did.

Yet anyone who has a smart home device, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, knows you have to program these phrases into the device — or either allow access.

Smart Home Device Dials 911 During Domestic Abuse - Amazon Echo and Google Home
(Left) Amazon Echo, also known as “Alexa.” (Right) Google Home.

So maybe, this isn’t the first domestic dispute this residence has encountered?


ABC reports the Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene and we’re able to remove the woman and daughter from the house. The source says the woman had injuries from the altercation but wasn’t taken or admitted to a hospital. Moreover, her daughter was unharmed.

The news source says the boyfriend was in an hours-long-standoff with SWAT. But, he was taken into custody by the crisis negotiation team.

Sheriff Manuel Gonzalez III mentioned the following comments in the statement.

“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.”

ABC News reports the boyfriend is being held without bond, and he’s facing charges of:

  • possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon
  • (1)aggravated assault against a household member
  • (2)aggravated assault against a household member
  • and false imprisonment.

Lucky for this woman, whomever’s house she was sitting had the appropriate technological appliances in place to ensure she’d be protected.

All in all, what are your thoughts about the situation? Do you think it’s a good idea to have these devices inside your residence? Feel free to share your thoughts via our Facebook page.

[Featured Photo via Twitter]

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