THOMASVILLE — Police Chief John Letteney and police Sgt. Jabar Dunbar were unable to walk with cords — to which hooks were attached — wrapped around their legs.
A loud bang sounding like a gunshot, followed by the odor of gun powder, preceded the remote restraint discharged at the officers. Gun powder provided power to propel the binding cord from a remote control device.
The equipment is BolaWrap. The restraint method was demonstrated Thursday morning at the Jail-Justice Center.
Letteney implemented BolaWrap in the North Carolina law enforcement agency from which he came to Thomasville in January. The method helps keep a community and officers safe, the chief said.
BolaWrap is used when talking to a person is no longer possible, and officers do not want to use other methods, such as gas.
For instance, if a parent calls law enforcement about an unruly child, pain is not desired, but help is needed to calm the situation.
Donald De Lucca, public safety ambassador for Wrap Technologies, described BolaWrap to putting on handcuffs from a distance.
A cord with fish hook-like metal attached is discharged. A video showed BolaWrap pinning a man's arms to his sides.
"If somebody's running, it's really not the best tool," said De Lucca, who is retired from the Miami Beach Police Department.
If someone is not wearing clothes, BolaWrap hooks enter the skin.
While pulling the small hooks from their trouser legs, Letteney and Dunbar said initially they felt sensations from the needles through their clothing.
The loud gunshot sounds cause one to become disoriented, said Michael Caprioli, master instructor and retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office academy director.
"We have yet to have anybody successfully break this," Caprioli said in reference to the cord ejected by BolaWrap.
Said De Lucca, "It wraps around you about two and a half times."
With a 10- to 25-foot range, BolaWrap travels 513 feet per second.
Letteney said Bolawrap will be considered for Thomasville Police Department.