On Sunday, June 28, 2020, AZDPS troopers responded to reports of a vehicle driving erratically on State Route 202 near US-60 Superstition Freeway. Troopers located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. The suspect failed to yield to the trooper and continued driving recklessly at fluctuating speeds.
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”.
The Grappler is a netting system which can be deployed from a police vehicle’s front bumper to capture and lock the rear wheel of a suspect vehicle. During a pursuit, this technological device allows law enforcement to safely bring a suspect’s vehicle to a stop.
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. The suspect was ultimately arrested for unlawful flight from law enforcement and driving under the influence.
This was the first successful deployment of the Grappler for AZDPS, which has Grapplers placed strategically across the state.
“The Grappler is cutting-edge technology which makes a tremendous difference for troopers,” said Lt. Col. Jenna Mitchell, Assistant Director of the Highway Patrol Division. “This device positively impacts the safety of troopers, the public, and suspects, helping to end pursuits as safely as possible.”