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Officers use grappler to take suspect into custody after hour-long chase throughout Valley

A high-speed chase across several Valley freeways ended with a driver being taken into custody.

ARIZONA, USA — A high-speed chase across several Valley freeways Friday afternoon ended with a driver being taken into custody.

The driver, who was identified as 30-year-old Brandon Smith, was booked into jail Friday night on several felony charges including misconduct involving weapons, drug possession and unlawful flight from law enforcement.

The Phoenix Police Department said the incident started when officers responded to a vehicle blocking the roadway near Cave Creek and Deer Valley Roads at about 2:30 p.m.  

Officers found an adult male passed out in a silver sedan blocking traffic in the roadway. Officers also noticed weapons and what appeared to be drugs inside the vehicle as well.  

Police said officers used two marked vehicles to block the sedan from the front and rear. When the driver woke up he began ramming his vehicle back and forth into the police cars and was eventually able to drive off. 

"Officers did not pursue the vehicle, but the police helicopter was used to surveil the vehicle while detectives from our tactical support bureau responded," said Phoenix Police Sergeant Andy Williams.  

Video from Sky 12 showed the driver weaving in and out of traffic and even driving through a residential area before law enforcement vehicles used a grappler device to stop the sedan near Interstate 10 and 48th Street.

Credit: 12 News

Sky 12 video showed less-lethal munitions and a police K-9 being used to safely take the driver into custody.  

The Grappler is a netting system that can be deployed from a police vehicle’s front bumper to capture and lock the rear wheel of a suspect vehicle. During a pursuit, this technological device allows law enforcement to safely bring a suspect’s vehicle to a stop, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Police said they found a white, crystal-like substance in the vehicle as well as two blue pills marked with M30. Officials said Smith had previous felony convictions including a narcotic drug violation, driving under the influence and dangerous drug possession. 

Officials said because Smith was still under supervision from his latest felony in 2018, he's being held without bail.

Watch how the pursuit ended here:

This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News for updates.

Driving Safety Tips: 

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) offers driving tips to help keep people safe on the road. 

"There’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety," the department said on its website. 

ADOT's suggestions include: 

  • Don’t speed or drive aggressively 

  • Never drive while under the influence of substances 

  • Avoid distractions while driving 

  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are doing the same 

  • When an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, move over 

  • Stay extra aware in work zones 

  • Be prepared for weather conditions that make driving dangerous 

Find more tips on the department's Driving Safety Homepage on ADOT's website here. 

"Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, downloading the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT," the department said. 

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