Tag Archives: arraignment

Update: LVMPD Officers Helped Fellow Vegas Cop Accused of Child Sex Abuse Intimidate Victim During Investigation

Officer Bret Theil LVMPD cop charged with dozens of counts related to the sexual abuse of a child

After he was informed that an investigation had been launched into the sexual abuse of a child against Officer Bret Theil some of his friends at the LVMPD helped him locate and attempt to threaten her.

Last month, I posted about Bret Theil, who was one of two LVMPD officers to be involved in an armed standoff with Metro’s own SWAT team during the same week. Unlike most regular citizens, Theil survived his encounter with SWAT completely unscathed, in spite of being armed, and was subsequently charged with over two dozen charges related to the sexual abuse of a child (purportedly a family member).

Those charges include six counts of first-degree kidnapping, five counts of lewdness with a child under 14, six counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14, four counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16, four counts of sexual assault, and two counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Soon after, Officer Theil’s case took on more of a national interest once it was revealed that he was present at the Mandalay Bay during the Route 91 Festival Shooting on October 1st. The fact that Theil was one of the Heroes that stood around in the hallway for over an hour doing nothing outside the hotel room of Stephen Paddock after he had already shot at a crowd of defenseless people fueled a lot of speculation.

Most of that speculation revolved around the idea that Theil had been “set up” to prevent him from (or warn against) revealing some nefarious details involving the Las Vegas Mass Shooting. As I posted earlier, I don’t personally believe that the charges (with a very real victim) were somehow fabricated for several reasons.

One of those reasons being that Theil is still alive after being involved in an armed standoff with the people that supposedly want to keep him quiet. Another being that charging somebody with several crimes that carry the possibility of life sentences is a pretty terrible way to prevent someone from spilling secrets. They simply don’t have much to lose by talking at that point.

The reality is that with the prevalence of sexual abuse and domestic violence among police officers, in general, and Las Vegas police, in particular, it’s not at all shocking that one (if not more) of those officers heroically hanging out in the hallway would face such charges.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

Court Documents Reveal Details of Abuse

Officer Theil appeared in court on February 14th for an arraignment hearing. Included within the court documents filed as part of that hearing were grand jury transcripts that included details of the allegations against him. Those details illustrate how Theil used his position as a police officer to abuse and intimidate his victim. That abuse began when she was just eight years old and continued until she was nineteen.

According to  

The victim testified that in one of the most recent attacks, Theil used police-issued handcuffs to secure her to a bunk bed ladder for about an hour as he scolded her.

Before forcing her to perform sex acts on him, according to the testimony, he often used his position of authority as intimidation. An officer with Metro since August 1998, Theil would remove his police uniform and degrade the victim, sometimes erupting into fits of rage, she said.

Because of his job, his respect among neighbors and the cache of weapons she knew he kept, she was afraid to tell anyone about the ongoing abuse, she said.

“I felt drained,” she testified. “I felt fearful of what would happen if I told anyone, and I didn’t know if they would believe me.”

The first of more than 50 forced sexual encounters, including 10 after she turned 18, occurred inside the bathroom of his friend’s home, she testified.

In another incident, Theil allegedly struck the girl in the mouth, causing her to bleed.

At one point, he used a slick red plastic rope to tie her hands to the underside of a sit-up bench, she said.

Theil often would watch pornography on his cellphone or laptop while abusing her, according to the victim’s testimony, sometimes dragging her by the hair into submission.

“If I fought back with him,” she said, “I’m afraid he would probably knock me out.”

Other LVMPD Officers Helped Theil Locate Victim

Those grand jury transcripts also revealed that Officer Theil’s use of his position to intimidate and threaten his victim wasn’t just limited to the times he was actually committing those abuses. They also reveal he had a “little help from his friends” at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Once Theil was informed of the investigation into his crimes, he began an “urgent effort” to locate the victim before she could talk to the North Las Vegas police officers conducting that investigation. Among other things, he hired an attorney and a private investigator to search for her.

In addition, other officers within the LVMPD accessed a confidential law enforcement database in order to help Theil find her.

An intelligence database known as SCOPE, which contains personal and address information, was accessed to search for the victim from either Metro headquarters or a substation and an office at the College of Southern Nevada, according to testimony from Carey McCloud, a North Las Vegas detective.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Stacy Kollins asked, “Do you know whether law enforcement was involved in looking for her?”

McCloud replied, “Just his friends, from what I understand.” – (same source as above quotes)

The victim was eventually located by the private investigator and prior to her contact with NLV detectives Theil threatened her repeatedly in an attempt to intimidate her into not cooperating with their investigation. Fortunately, it didn’t work this time.

As disgusting as it is that other Metro officers would not only look the other way, but actively assist Theil in abusing his victim, it shouldn’t be surprising. Las Vegas area police have a long and widespread history of engaging in, covering up, and condoning abuse by their own. And the list of Bad Apples goes all the way to the top of the tree.

Related Posts

Call Flood Request: Drop Bogus Trespassing Charge by Butthurt Lakeland Officer

Michael Burns, of CopBlock Central Florida, submitted this post, via the Cop Block submissions page. This consists of an update on his arrest, supposedly for trespassing, the charges for which were not filed until months after the incident from which they originated. That arrest was reported previously on CopBlock.org in this post by Ademo. In addition, a first update including his initial court appearance was posted here on August 27th, shortly after the incident happened.

Mike Burns is probably best known on Cop Block as the guy who wore a “Fuck the Police” shirt in court and won.

Date of Upcoming Trial: November 17, 2015
Department Involved: Lakeland Police Department (Florida)
Officer Involved: Officer Aaron Peterman
Department Phone Number: (863) 834-6900

This is going back to a video I posted in April of 30 officers clearing a lot, which somehow ended in no arrest…Fast forward three months to July 27th and I am being arrested at my house for missing court on a trespassing arrest I never knew I had received. It wasn’t until I was at the Polk County Sheriff Station midway to the Bartow Booking facility where I was briefly shown a copy of a police report and realized I had been arrested over a video. After spending 23 hours between three facilities in custody, I returned to what I thought was the parking lot which the video referred to. At this point I had still never been told I was permanently trespassed from the property. So I went to speak with the security officer just to confirm my suspicion that he had never spoken with police that night.

peterman-underbiteI still had not read the police report at this point… I had to wait 30 hours after getting out of jail before I could do a public record request with the Lakeland Police to figure out one butthurt Officer Aaron Peterman watched a video 18 days after the fact and decided to go back and file a report for trespassing, citing my making fun of him in the video as his evidence.

I had only spoken with Peterman briefly. I had already spoken to the private security officer and two other Lakeland police officers at that point. Both told me I was good to be there doing what I do. There were about 30 officers total that night, 29 of which had no problems with me being there. The problem was 200 intoxicated people leaving a club at once.

In the full length videos from April I can be heard instructing the girl I was filming with to stay back from the crowd and other tips that would usually count as interfering with police. The officer however only pointed out the minute and second of each time I made fun of his lack of order.

During the brief encounter I had with Officer Peterman, he informed me that security wanted everyone out. This was a lie. Possibly security of the club wanted everyone out but not security of the parking lot. That old man didn’t care about anything.. obvious from my video.

Another great place on the internet to show your CopBlock love.

Another great place on the internet to show your CopBlock love.

Peterman will lie in his police report saying the corporation that owned the parking lot gave them authorization to trespass people that were not patronizing a business or loitering, but I was able to gain a copy of the authorization form and it only cites their authorization to trespass for threats to public safety and welfare, neither of which my being there filming fell under. This property while owned by a private corporation “Nickanna Corp” rents spaces to the City of Lakeland on the property in question, including the court house I must go to to defend myself from these charges.

The full length videos from that night show a man hitting a woman. Officer Peterman not only doesn’t arrest him, he walks the still-yelling man and woman to their car to send them off. When he first approaches me and tells me about their trespassing powers, he starts to tell me to “go out there and film.” I ask if I can film them getting the people out and he confirms “as long as you are moving with us”. I don’t know exactly how to take that, but I know in my years of filming the police and dealing with the word “trespassing” my brief encounter with Officer Peterman was not in any way a direct order to leave under the threat of arrest.

Every few minutes in the video I pointed out Peterman and made fun of the fact that he had given me a half-ass non-order and I joked about having to stay away from him. Peterman misquotes my jokes as me seriously wanting to stay away from him. Yet minus an invisibility cloak, I followed him (and 20+ other officers) through the parking lot as they broke up fights and sent people home. The only thing I was worried about is that Peterman would actually give me a direct order to leave. He hadn’t successfully done that yet…he still hasn’t.

Knowing I live in Lakeland, they had the court summons sent to Avon Park and waited…I returned to the parking lot in question filming for the following four weekeneds. Many LPD saw me there filming in the following weeks, but no one told me I had been trespassed, I had an upcoming court date, or I missed my court date…I had to hear about it while being arrested for missing my court date…Funny how they knew right where to find me when that happened.

I know I can win this in court with the video evidence, but I also know the court may find ways to keep it out. I would ask people call both the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900 and the Prosecutor’s office at 863-802-6240 and let them know how you feel about the arrest! It seems punitive and a waste of tax-payer money to me.

– Michael Burns

Update to Michael Burns’ “Trespassing” Arrest

Michael Burns, of CopBlock Central Florida, submitted this post, via the Cop Block submissions page. This consists of an update on his arrest, supposedly for trespassing, the charges for which were not filed until months after the incident from which they originated. That arrest was reported previously on CopBlock.org in this post by Ademo. In addition, the video included below shows Mike’s initial court appearance for the arraignment on those charges.

Mike Burns is probably best known on Cop Block as the guy who wore a “Fuck the Police” shirt in court and won.

Date of Incident: 8/19/15
Department Involved: Lakeland Police
Contact Phone Number: (863) 834-6900


To recap,

On April 12, 2015, myself and someone else that will remain nameless were recording about 30 police officers clearing a parking lot of about 200+ club goers. When we first arrived I spoke with the security guard who granted us permission to film what was going on. From there we spent about 10 minutes filming as police started clearing the club. One hot-headed 5′ tall bouncer had a problem with us filming however I reached out to two different police as they were passing, one of whom can be seen and heard on video saying we were good to be there filming.

banner buy shiny badgesInsert Officer Aaron Peterman of the Lakeland Police Department, coming to tell everyone they had to leave. He approached us and said “We have been asked to clear the lot.” I asked him if we can film as they are doing it and he gave a very half-ass comment of “as long as you are moving with us” or “them.” The last word is debatable, but either way it was not a direct order to leave and no threat of arrest had been made.

We spent the next 10 minutes filming as the crowd dwindled, but a few small fights happened. We watched a man hit a woman in the face and Officer Peterman did nothing, but walk them to their car. I made a few (quite a few) sarcastic and comedic (in my opinion) comments as to having to stay away from Officer Peterman during the last 10 minutes of filming. I knew what he had told me was not an actual order to leave the property under threat of arrest, but I did not want it to reach that point. So I did keep about a 50′ bumper area between myself and the officers as they were doing what they were doing. No other officer seemed to have a problem with me being there and again, in my opinion, Officer Peterman at the time was just going with the flow and said what he said never to be heard from again. I poked the bear with a few sarcastic comments that he ended up hearing two weeks later when he watched the video on my YouTube channel.

He set my arrest in motion by filing papers with the state saying my video showed me in the act of trespassing after being ordered to leave. That never happened, but either way, they sent the papers for an arraignment to my house, knowing full well that I wasn’t living at my house. I was staying in Lakeland. They waited…they waited…I missed court…they waited…I saw Officer Peterman on the streets a few times after this and likely every other Lakeland Police officer at least one time between them filing for my arrest and my being picked up for a bench warrant for missing the court date. Funny how they knew right where to find me at that point.

Click graphic to like Central Florida CopBlock on FB.

Click graphic to like Central Florida CopBlock on FB.

Finally my arraignment. After they once again switched the arraignment date from the 20th of August to the 19th and mailing the notice to my house once again so I would miss court. I was smart enough to check online every day following my arrest and I noticed this the same day they did it. I showed up and they basically tried to get me to take a plea that would end up costing me about 700… 1000, if you include what I paid for bond and what they stole out of my wallet while in jail for a “housing fee.”

I will not be accepting the plea and will be fighting it. My next scheduled pre-trial is Sept. 15th, 2015 in Lakeland, Florida…though this is likely to change with notice being mailed elsewhere.

Michael Burns

Arraignment for Trespassing Charge:

It was this arrest that tipped me into making these types of videos in addition to the CopBlocking now!