Multiple police departments in the US are testing a ‘lasso gun’ that shoots a Kevlar tether at suspects. The non-lethal weapon works like something out of a Batman movie, giving officers an alternative to pepper spray, which can inadvertently incapacitate the officer, and tasers, which require the officer to be fairly close to the suspect.
The weapon is called the BolaWrap 100, and it resembles a stun gun when not in use. As demonstrated in the video below, officers can use it to ‘lasso’ a fleeing suspect, either wrapping their arms or their legs to prevent them from drawing a weapon or running away. Because the tether is made from Kevlar, it would be very difficult for the wrapped person to remove it.
The non-lethal weapon can also be used to safely restrain someone who may present a risk to themselves or others, such as someone having a mental health crisis. Unlike pepper spray and tasers, the BolaWrap is said to be painless, including by reporters who allowed the item to be demonstrated on them.
According to the Wrap Technologies website, BolaWrap 100 can be used against someone who is located between 10ft and 25ft from the device; it launches the Kevlar tether at 646 feet per second, making it far too fast to outrun or dodge. The tether is 8ft in length, enabling it to wrap around someone three or four times to ensure they’re restrained.
The company says that its device requires very simple training and that there are no special skills needed to wield the de-escalation tool. Earlier this month, the bola weapon was used successfully in a real-life situation for the first time by police in Fort Worth, Texas.