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Videos Show Police Detain Suspects With New Less-Lethal Weapon

New Kent, VA –Bodycam video has been released that showed New Kent County sheriff’s deputies effectively using a new less-lethal weapon called a BolaWrap to detain a mentally-disturbed person (videos below).

The incident occurred on April 29 after sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a man experiencing a mental health crisis, according to a press release by Wrap, the company that makes the devices.

A BolaWrap shoots a Kevlar cord that can wrap around a suspect’s legs or body, even trapping the arms, so that officers can finish safely detaining the person, according to the company’s website.

The device, which was first released in 2019, is a “hand-held remote restraint device” sometimes referred to as a “Spiderman gun.”

When it’s deployed, the BolaWrap shoots an eight-foot tether going 513 feet per second, or about 340 mph, at its target, according to the company website.

The man’s girlfriend told deputies that he had previously been diagnosed as bipolar and possibly schizophrenic, but she said that he refused to take medicine to deal with any of those conditions, the bodycam video showed.

She told the deputies that she had been trying for more than two hours to get the disturbed man to go home with her.

The company said authorities were warned that the man would get violent if deputies tried to touch him, so they looked for alternative ways to take him into custody.

Bodycam video of the incident showed the deputies warned the man’s girlfriend that they were going to attempt to detain him using the new BolaWrap device.

As the man explained to deputies that he was “the opposite” of what they were thinking he was, bodycam video showed one deputy deployed the device near the man’s waistline, capturing both of his hands in its loop.

The man screamed and jumped, but his reaction appeared to be from surprise rather than pain.

The video showed police calmly handcuffed the man and helped paramedics put him in an ambulance so he could be taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

His girlfriend thanked the officers for their help in managing her sick boyfriend, the bodycam showed.

The sheriff’s department was pleased with the results, according to the press release.

“Protecting our officers and our community is our top priority, and we are pleased with how the BolaWrap was able to help our officers safely get someone in crisis the help they needed while preventing the situation from escalating,” New Kent County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Joey McLaughlin said.

Police in Tempe, Arizona deployed a BolaWrap successfully in the middle of a downtown street on May 28 and took the suspect into custody without further incident, the Phoenix New Times reported.

Bodycam video of the incident showed Tempe police officers responding to a call about a person suffering a mental health crisis who was “running through traffic” and appeared to be “in crisis and armed with a stun gun.”

Police tried to talk to the man and get him out of the street, but he appeared confused and remained uncooperative, bodycam video showed.

When the man ignored multiple police commands to stop, officers changed tactics.

“Hey guys, I’m gonna Bola,” an officer warned in the video.

Then a green light appeared across the man’s legs for a moment before the BolaWrap was deployed.

“Stop walking!” the officer ordered. “Stop walking! You’re gonna be wrapped. Stop walking, stop walking!”

Then there was a blast as the BolaWrap was deployed at the suspect, the video showed.

The video showed the device wrapped the Kevlar cord around the man’s knees and stopped him from walking away.

The man was startled and distracted for a moment, which allowed officers to handcuff him and take him into custody, the bodycam showed.

Watch the incidents unfold in the videos here below:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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