Car chases with cops are dangerous, and they almost never end well. The quicker they can be ended, the better. Cops have some exciting and risky techniques like the PIT maneuver to help them stop fleeing cars, and now there’s this MacGyverish-looking invention designed to let cops actually snag a fleeing car. This thing looks like it’ll make for some exciting live television.
The thing is called the Grappler Police Bumper, and it’s basically an extendible Y-shaped yoke with a net of tow-rope-style webbing. The yoke is dropped into a horizontal position, then is extended out forward from the pursuing car.
The extended yoke with the tow rope webbing is then brought into contact with the fleeing car’s rear wheel, which entangles in the webbing, trapping the car, which is now tethered to the pursuing car, which can then force it to stop.
Well, either force it to stop or yank the car into some sort of exciting two-car spinning mass of terror. Either works!
It’s probably easier to understand by watching the video:
I don’t know much about Stock Enterprises, maker of the Grappler Police Bumper, other than that their logo animation looks like the bumper for a ‘90s cable access show run by some cult, but I have to admit, this thing does seem to be effective at stopping cars.
There’s some pretty suspect stuff, though; the ‘Untethered Snag” maneuver at 65 MPH just makes the speeding target car into a speeding car with a locked rear wheel, which seems like sort of a terrible idea in most situations.
Their website says they’ll do live demonstrations of the Grappler. I think I see an opportunity for an exciting new Jalopnik video. Stay tuned.