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An Automated Approach to Stopping High-Speed Chases

The Grappler is an automated way to “grab” a vehicle during a high-speed chase.


We’ve all watched police chases on television, and they usually end in a fiery crash. Most of the time we are watching a fake portrayal of a car chase in the movies, but the real-life facts are sad. According to USA Today, more than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in police car chases since 1979, and tens of thousands more were injured.

An Arizona man, Leonard Stock, was bothered by these startling statistics and came up with an idea. It’s called The Grappler, and it includes automated arms that drop down in front of a police car’s bumper to hold a heavy-duty nylon net. Once close enough to the car in pursuit, the net wraps around the tire (the tether can be released from the police vehicle) and the net locks up the tire to stop the car.

This vehicle arresting device is getting high marks from law enforcement. And, I can definitely see where this would help catch the bad guy. But here’s “the catch.” Let’s think of the world we live in. If The Grappler lands in the wrong hands—like a kidnapper or serial killer—this could be a nightmare of an invention for the general public. Sorry, but I had to go there.

Let’s just keep The Grappler in the hands of the good guys.

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