Bernalillo County deputies are now equipped with a crime fighting tool that’s straight out of a comic book.
Twenty BCSO deputies are now carrying a BolaWrap, a handheld device that shoots a Kevlar wire, which wraps around a suspect several times and restricts movement – a device that looks like something Batman would use to take down bad guys.
The ends of the wire have hooks with four barbs that are designed to attach to clothing.
The handheld device is most effective between 10 and 25 feet, according to BCSO.
The company that makes the BolaWrap shooter, Wrap Technologies, markets it as a way to improve officer safety. Each device costs about $1,000, according to the company’s website.
Deputy Joseph Montiel, the BCSO spokesman, said each deputy with a device has undergone at least four hours of training with it. He added that they are not a replacement for Tasers but are another option for deputies.
“Every day the women and men of BCSO boldly place their lives on the line to keep our children, families and businesses safe, it is absolutely imperative we equip them with the most effective public safety technology,” Sheriff Manuel Gonzales said in a written statement. “After several months of successful evaluation and testing, I am pleased to announce that the new BolaWrap Restraint was effectively and safely deployed in the field for the first time.”
The contraption was used to restrain and arrest 26-year-old auto theft suspect Alberto Romero last week, according to BCSO.
Deputy Justin Placencio stopped Romero near Avenida Dolores Huerta and Goff SW after Placencio noticed that the SUV Romero was driving matched the description of a vehicle reported stolen two days earlier, a criminal complaint states.
Romero was initially cooperative, but later became verbally aggressive, refused to follow commands and began to walk away.
“Due to Romero’s non-compliance to the commands of deputies and the risk of him re-entering the vehicle or fleeing on foot, the BolaWrap Restraint device was successfully deployed and Romero was safely taken into custody,” Montiel said in a news release.
Romero is charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.