Watch Arizona Police Stop A Fleeing Car With A Grappler

Once regarded as a comic-book-style gadget, the grappler has now been used in several vehicle chases, including a recent one in Arizona. Police used the device to stop a car on the afternoon of Friday, April 29.

The man at the wheel of the vehicle being stopped was Brandon Smith, a 30-year-old who allegedly passed out at the wheel of his vehicle, blocking a roadway near Cave Creek and Dear Valley roads north of Phoenix.

Police say that two vehicles were used to hem the vehicle in as they investigated. They claim to have seen weapons and what appeared to be drugs in the car. Smith allegedly then awoke and began ramming the vehicles in front of and behind him.

Read Also: U.S. Firm Wants To End Police Chases With Laso-Style Grappler

That allowed the suspect to escape the police vehicles blocking him in and drive away from the scene. Authorities say they did not pursue him by car but sent a helicopter after him. Terrestrial vehicles were eventually used to stop the driver and one, equipped with a grappler, managed to stop the car.

Once the vehicle was stopped police say they used less lethal munitions and a K-9 unit to take the driver out of the car and into custody. Smith was booked into Maricopa County Jail and faces many charges, including misconduct involving weapons, drug possessions, and unlawful flight from law enforcement, though the investigation is ongoing.

The grappler is a device that looks a bit like a two-pronged fork coming out of the front of a vehicle with high-strength straps laced between them. The whole system is designed to be forced under the rear wheel of a fleeing vehicle and the straps are intended to ensnare it and stop it.

The device was first used in the field on 11-4-2018 and the manufacturer claims that it has been used 400 more times since then.

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