Police pursuits can be dramatic to watch, but they’re always dangerous. A few years back, a new device called the Grappler was presented as a means to stop fleeing vehicles without spinning them out. It’s now in use, and as the video above demonstrates, it’s extremely effective.
The incident happened on April 29 in and around Phoenix, Arizona. According to Fox 10 News, a man was found unconscious in a running car around 2:30 p.m. local time. Police arrived on the scene and observed weapons within reach of the passed-out driver, who was slumped behind the wheel. The man eventually woke up, rammed police vehicles that had surrounded him, and took off down the highway. Officers didn’t pursue at that point, but a police helicopter kept an eye on the silver sedan that looks like a Ford Fusion to our eye.
Enter the Grappler. The video opens with aerial footage of the sedan without any apparent police activity. Undercover units are following, and it appears the suspect isn’t aware of their presence until the Grappler comes out. This device is essentially a web of high-strength straps that wrap around a rear wheel. It’s attached to the front of the police vehicle, and once deployed, the pursuer and pursuee are literally tied together.
A single SUV passes the sedan while another comes up behind. It’s just 10 seconds from that pass until the vehicle is stopped dead. Two other units quickly come up from behind, but the chase is over. Compared to a PIT maneuver that sends a vehicle spinning out of control, the Grappler just brings everything to a screeching halt. That’s exactly what happens here.
However, the suspect isn’t ready to go down without a fight. After a tense standoff with shots fired, the driver is pulled from the car and taken into custody. He was accused of multiple offenses including criminal damage, driving under the influence, weapons and drug charges, and fleeing law enforcement. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries.
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