VIDEO: Phoenix police identify man who rammed officers’ patrol cars; officers used ‘grappler’ to stop him
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Phoenix police have identified the man accused of ramming into several patrol vehicles after Phoenix police followed him all over the Valley. Police then used a special tool to bring his car to a stop on Friday. Authorities now say Brandon Smith, 30, was behind the wheel.
Arizona’s Family News Chopper was over the scene when officers deployed a “grappler” from their SUV that attached to the silver car in the area of Interstate 10 and Broadway Road in Tempe just after 4 p.m. Officers then fired what appeared to be nonlethal rounds at Smith, who was still in his car and wouldn’t come out. After about 10 minutes, officers used a K-9 to help pull him out of the driver’s side door.
It all started when Phoenix police officers say they spotted him passed out inside his car blocking the road near Cave Creek and Deer Valley Roads around 2:30 p.m. They saw weapons and what seemed to be drugs inside the car. The officers used their patrol vehicles to block him in but then he woke up and started ramming them, investigators said. Eventually, he drove off.
The Phoenix Police Department said it did not chase him but rather used its helicopter to keep an eye on him around the Valley. Arizona’s Family News Chopper first spotted Smith driving in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, heading into Mesa. He then went on a few surface streets before going on Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway and headed west to Phoenix. Smith then went on surface streets in the Phoenix area, going on 24th Street and McDowell. Smith then got back on the freeway and headed toward the Mini Stack. He then got around traffic and got on the Interstate 10 and started heading east. Smith then hit some traffic past 16th Street and got off the freeway near State Route 143. Officers then used the grappler.
On Saturday, Phoenix police said that Smith was booked on accusations of misconduct involving weapons, drug possession, and unlawful flight from law enforcement in addition to several other felony charges. A booking photo wasn’t immediately released. Arizona’s Family is working to learn more information about Smith.
What is a grappler?
A grappler utilizes a netting system to attach itself and lock the rear wheel of a suspect’s car. In this case, it went around the suspect’s rear tire on the driver’s side. The Department of Public Safety first used a grappler nearly two years ago.
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