Fresno Police test new Batman-like device that shoots rope at criminals

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Police department tested out some new equipment on Friday -- meant to help subdue suspects with minimal force.

It is a tool -- about the size of a cellphone -- designed to deal with someone experiencing a mental health crisis and restraining them before the situation escalates.

"The number of mental health calls we face on a daily basis where the person is aggressive toward officers is on the rise and this type of tool would be effective in those situations," said Fresno Police Department Chief Jerry Dyer.

It's called the Bola Wrap 100 -- a device powerful enough to shoot out an 8-foot Kevlar cable with hooks on the end at about 640 feet per second.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are exploring this new technology.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer allowed demonstrators to test the wrap on him from about 20 feet.

"What you feel is a little bit of a sting. Not like when you get hit with a taser sting, which is far greater," he said.

The intent for officers using the non-lethal device is it gives them the opportunity to de-escalate a situation while using minimal force.

"A temporary mobilization of the individual where they can't move their arms or legs and secondarily so that officers can place their handcuffs on them and restrain the individual," said Dyer, describing the device.

Designed by former police officers -- the Bola Wrap cost about the same as a taser -- is $800 a piece and $30 for each cartridge

"We have about 50 agencies that have the device and about half of those are testing it and the other half have it in the field or preparing to put in the field and are in the policy writing phase," said Mike Rothans of Wrap Technologies.
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