MESA, Ariz. - Officials with Arizona Department of Public Safety say their troopers have successfully deployed a device called "the Grappler" to stop a police chase for the first time.
The incident happened on June 28, but details were made public on the DPS website on July 23. According to DPS officials, troopers were responding to reports of a car driving erratically on State Route 202 near US-60. A trooper tried to stop the car, but the driver failed to yield, and continued to drive.
"As the suspect continued westbound, Trooper Norman Hupp drove to the rear of the suspect’s vehicle and utilized his patrol vehicle’s pursuit immobilization device, 'the Grappler'," read a portion of the statement.
In 2016, FOX 10 reported on the Grappler, which was invented by a Valley man named Leonard Stock. It works by using a heavy-duty nylon net that can be lowered from the front of the pursuing police vehicle with the touch of a button to snag the rear tire of the suspect vehicle, wrapping around the axle. Within a few seconds, the case comes to a controlled stop without the officer having to force a collision.
"In this case, the Grappler was successfully deployed to the suspect vehicle’s left rear tire, locking the wheel and rendering the vehicle inoperable. The vehicle was forced to a stop just west of State Route 101," read a portion of a statement by DPS officials.
DPS officials say this is the department's first successful deployment of the Grappler. As for the driver, he was arrested for alleged unlawful flight from law enforcement, as well as alleged DUI.