By on November 5, 2016

Grappler Police Bumper

If this catches on, expect plenty of unhappiness in the spike strip industry.

An Arizona man has spent the last eight years developing a tool that could end police pursuits by ensnaring the rear wheel of a fleeing vehicle. Called the Grappler Police Bumper, the seemingly simple apparatus can be mounted to the front of a police-spec Tahoe or Explorer.

Looking like a giant pool skimmer, the unit consists of extendable, Y-shaped arms holding a heavy-duty nylon net. When the arms are extended and lowered towards the road surface, a pursuing officer drives up behind the suspect’s rear quarter and snags the vehicles’s rear wheel. The cord then wraps around the rear wheel and axle, locking it.

The officer’s vehicle remains tethered to the suspect vehicle, so they can floor the accelerator in vain all they want.

Inventor Leonard Stock told FOX10 Phoenix that he came up with the invention after watching a high-speed pursuit that ended when the suspect’s vehicle t-boned an innocent motorist.

“The options right now are getting in front of a suspect vehicle to deploy tire spikes or using the pit maneuver or some type of smash-up derby style process to stop a vehicle and the officer many times is pinned against a suspect vehicle,” said Stock.

The inventor’s startup company, Stock Enterprises, is now marketing the finished product to law enforcement agencies. If adopted, the Grappler could reduce the threat of injury, death and damage posed by a fleeing suspect. That includes damage to police vehicles, which would no doubt be weighed when considering a Grappler purchase.

There’s no price tag on the system as of yet. Stock Enterprises says it expects to have a per-unit price finalized by November 23.

[Image: Stock Enterprises/YouTube]

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39 Comments on “The ‘Grappler’ Could Make Lengthy Police Pursuits a Thing of the Past...”


  • avatar

    This looks like a really brilliant device for much safer stops of fleeing drivers with far fewer risks to innocent bystanders and other drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      The next invention – anti-grappler, the beam extending from the back of your vehicle that works against pursuing vehicle.

      So, now, suspects that usually just go straight, will also swerve because they see grappler on the cop’s car.

      Will see how that works out

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Hmm, engage tractor beam?

  • avatar
    gasser

    How close, at high speeds, does the pursuit vehicle have to get?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Not as closed as with a PIT maneuver. However, a PIT doesn’t need as much precision (similar level of skill though).

      I’ve a couple of other concerns with this device. I’m sure everyone here wonders about the odds of properly lining up the device. A failed attempt could break the device. Does this also serve as a push bumper? While deployed, it seems to run very close to the ground. Potholes and bumps would be a concern.

      Finally, nearly any vehicle can PIT. Only vehicles with this device can perform this tactic. I suspect it’s quite a bit more expensive than spike strips, which are more economically practical to put in every squad.

  • avatar
    stroker49

    In the real world I think it is very difficult to get that close in a controlled manner.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Looks like fun ! .

    Let the the law suits begin .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The police vehicle will end up having to ram the perp. And it needs wheels on the front, if that diga into the ground it will rip right off.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    And in another 8 years the police officer will simply push a button and your car will auto-pilot to a full stop. Don’t bother locking your doors, there’s an override for that.

    Okay probably not 8 years but it is going to happen sooner or later.

  • avatar
    whisperquiet

    I am a retired Illinois State Policeman who taught the ISP emergency vehicle operator’s course for six years and can’t imagine being that close to a vehicle fleeing at high speed.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I am willing to bet that the following distances that are needed for this will pose a problem.

  • avatar

    This is brilliant. Of course the next time I see a bike on the front end of anything other than a bus I’ll know what I am seeing.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Isn’t the whole problem with high speed pursuits the “chase” and possible injuries from innocent bystanders?

    Seems like this invention doesn’t eliminate that part of the equation as the police car still has to basically touch bumpers, which means the suspect will attempt to go as fast as possible to get away.

  • avatar
    cook_diesel

    I can see this as being a pit maneuver replacement over stop sticks. It seems you would have to get very close to the fleeing vehicle and be in just about the same position as if you were getting ready to perform the pit maneuver in order for this work.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    A horrid idea.

    One- its an answer to a question already addressed by the spike strip, and it incentivizes the bad guys to drive at max speed through as many curvy roads as possible.

    Meaning fewer high speed pursuits on open interstates and wide roads, and more pursuits in neighborhoods with lots of turns and kids playing in the yard.

    Two- I don’t see this working on low ground clearance cars. The perp in a lowrider Monte Carlo has little to fear here.

    Three -Bad guys occasionally have guns. Sometimes they shoot at cops. Bad guys in immobilized vehicles facing decades in prison might decide to go out Bonnie and Clyde style – which is bad when you have to park basically right behind the thug in order to deploy the grappler.

    Four- It looks like it needs a large frame SUV or truck to be deployed. A criminal with a car capable of 14 second 1/4 mile times need not be worried about this.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Front fender to rear quarter-panel. Seems to work in NASCAR.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    What was wrong with using a shotgun to shoot out the tires?

  • avatar
    Aqua225

    Wouldn’t a pickup with around 445 diesel HP, Allison transmission, tow gears, and a true limited slip reared sheer this thing off? Granted, probably not a lot of those in high speed pursuits, but Nylon does have it’s limits.

    I could see it being a problem for pickups like my own, that have a open diff and use ABS system to redirect pull power, though I suspect a software update to the ecm could workaround the issue. “if 3 wheels near same speed and one stopped, do not redirect power to stopped wheel for better traction”. Or even better, on the fly 4wd. Computer pulls in front axle in this condition and pulls cop car down road till release button is pressed.

    Enough horsepower and at least two drivers are going to have a really wild ride!

    Not that most people who end up being chased at high speed by police cruisers have really thought things out in the first place…

  • avatar
    NickS

    With the forks fully extended out front it looks like one or both could catch onto the pavement if there is a dip or hard braking. I can’t tell what mechanism they employ to handle that. Or if the bridle catches something on the pavement and goes under the police vehicle. I can’t imagine the front wheels locking up on a speeding cruiser.

    Also not sure if any basic countermeasures by the fleeing driver could prevent successful engagement of the bridle. It seems like some swerving is all it would take.

  • avatar
    prabal34

    Just look at how much damage it does to the vehicles :( #vehiclelivesmatter!

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Another one of these huh?

    What happened to the foam cannon where they shoot it and covers the perp in non-toxic* sticky foam?

    Or those rocket powered carts that would shoot out from under the squad car under the perps’ and scramble the car’s electronics thus disabling it?

    My guess is that this will go the way of those. A lot of stuff to keep track of for a very limited number of uses. So they stay in the “idea” bin.

    *probably toxic

  • avatar
    probert

    One would have thought that the radio would have made police pursuits old news. I can definitely seeing this kill innocent people.

  • avatar
    ClausGraf

    I still like the 1980’s ideas like Roy Scheider piloting Blue Thunder.

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    So a missile fired from an unmanned drone is no longer an option? Seems to work well in Kabul.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The missile part may be a bit too militaristic even for Trump’s America. But a short range, high power/speed drone, deployed from a cruiser mounted recharging tray, placing spike mats (or just poking tire holes), will be “perfected” long before this thing gains much in the way of popularity.

      As a bonus, similar tech could allow drones to birddog for speed traps out in the middle of nowhere… Nothing beats civilian uses for cop applicable tech, when it comes to keeping purchasing costs down for police departments….

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    If police agencies decide to use these it will tear up their fleet like they’ve never seen before, putting unnecessary (and potentially extreme) strain on the transmission and suspension. Not only that, it puts the officer in danger of a wreck should the car that is ‘captured’ suddenly slows, stops, or overpowers the pursuit vehicle.

    Why bear the expense of a costly drivetrain and suspension repair (or risk a wreck) when it’s just as effective but safer and cheaper to shoot out the perpretrator’s tires, or are the police “not allowed” to do that anymore? Who cares about the idiot that refuses to surrender…

  • avatar
    kuman

    Why can’t they RPGs the runaway car or just mini nuke it. any bad guy noticing the cops preparing to RPG him or locking missiles into him will surely think twice about the warning shot given.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    The non-tethered snag seems safer for the cop, but less so for the perp and surrounding traffic.

  • avatar
    SirRaoulDuke

    I give it a month in service before a cop snags a suspect running on foot.

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    The idea has worked for Spiderman for years. So it ought to work for the police as well.

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