Tag Archives: NHP

Update: Las Vegas School Cop Who Assaulted, Pulled Gun on Teen Victim During DUI Reinstated With Back Pay

Las Vegas School Police DUI Assault Gun Russo

Las Vegas school cop who caused an accident while drunk then pulled gun & assaulted victims has been reinstated because he was off duty at the time.

In October of 2015, I posted about Sgt. Anthony Russo of the Clark County School District Police Department. Russo was arrested after he got drunk, ran a red light, hit another car, assaulted the teenage driver of the car he had just crashed into at 60 mph, and then pulled a gun on witnesses who tried to intervene to stop his attack on a completely innocent person who was already “incapacitated” from being hit by some drunk maniac’s car.

At the time the Las Vegas Review Journal described the incident this way:

Troopers said Russo was at fault in the crash that escalated into fight where the off-duty school police sergeant drew his gun. He faces charges that include driving under the influence, failure to obey a traffic signal, possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening manner and two counts of battery, NHP said.

Witnesses said Russo ran a red light at the off-ramp while going about 60 mph before hitting the car, according to arrest records obtained by the Review-Journal. Bystanders went to check on the Hyundai’s passengers, and Russo, wearing “dress clothes,” punched the car’s passenger in the face three times.

When bystanders pulled Russo away from the passenger, he punched one of them in the face and lifted up his shirt, where his firearm was holstered. He pulled out his gun, and a female bystander stood between Russo and others at the scene, according to the arrest record.

That’s when Russo went back to his car.

The arrest record said he failed to take a field sobriety test. He was taken to University Medical Center — as were three other people involved in the crash. Troopers got a warrant to draw four vials of blood from Russo, the arrest record said. He was then booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

That’s obviously some outrageous shit for anyone, let alone a guy who is carrying a gun around a school and in fact already had a prior history of shooting children. There’s no way they could have just swept this under the rug. He had to have been in for some serious punishment after this. Amirite?

Rest assured officers, that’s not the case when you have one of those Magic Uniforms that renders you impervious to any sort of meaningful consequences for your actions, no matter how violent or outrageous they might be. Especially when you’re talking about a department that ruled officers covering up for cops that held an underage drinking party which led to one of the juvenile attendees killing a woman in a drunk driving accident was “within the scope of their duties.”

Not only were the laundry list of charges Sgt. Russo was originally facing reduced to two misdemeanors that resulted in just a fine and a temporary suspension of his license, but his firing has now been reversed. Apparently, according to an arbitrator, repeatedly punching a teenager and pulling a gun (while drunk) and threatening to shoot innocent people trying to stop him from committing assault on that innocent teenager doesn’t represent “a damaging impact to the workplace” or an indication of malice.  That workplace, of course is a building full of teenagers that he carries a gun around in. I can’t see any way his drunken rampage against an “innocent, incapacitated teenager” would be an indicator of some sort of potential workplace threat.

And he’s getting back pay for the two years he sat home. No word yet on whether he also will be getting reinstated as the head of the CCSD police union.

Local News Coverage

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Update: Nevada Transportation Authority Officer Already Suspended for Fourth DUI, Arrested Again For DUI and Buying Heroin

Just yesterday, I posted on the CopBlock Network about Robert Reasoner, a supervisor at the Nevada Transportation Authority, which overseas commercial drivers working for cabs, limos, and ride sharing companies, including Uber and Lyft. Reasoner had (finally) been suspended on January 6th after his fourth drunk driving arrest the day before when he was involved in two separate accidents. The final of those two being a hit and run, in which he totaled a parked car then took off back to his house.

As the saying goes, it gets better though. Since writing that, I came across information that Reasoner was actually arrested yet again. Earlier this month, while on suspension for the latest DUI, he was arrested for attempting to buy heroin. Apparently,  officers from the narcotics task force in Carson City had already been tipped off that he was “involved with illegal narcotics” as early as last summer, but for some reason hadn’t arrested him yet almost a year later.

Just for good measure he was drunk again and had an open bottle of vodka in the car. So, he now has five notches on his DUI trophy. ‘Cus you wanna have a good buzz going when you’re picking up heroin outside of a Steak and Shake. (For the record, I don’t actually know that it was a Steak and Shake. I’m #JusSayin)

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Tri-NET Narcotics Task Force officers arrested Nevada Transportation Authority supervisor Robert Reasoner, 36, in Carson City about 3 p.m. Wednesday after he allegedly set up the purchase of three grams of heroin, records from the Carson City County Sheriff’s department show.

The state task force officers had received tips this summer that Reasoner was involved with illegal narcotics.

“Everyone talks,” task force Sgt. Dan Johnson told the Review-Journal. “We live in the gutter in these (drug) units, and we start hearing things.”

Reasoner met a confidential informant Wednesday morning, gave him $160 and directed him to buy three grams of heroin for “him and his mother,” the police report said.

He asked the informant to mark two bags with an “R” for him in the event that the cooperating witness dropped off the drugs at his mother’s house when Reasoner was not there, police reports said.

At about 3:10 p.m., Reasoner and his mother, who has not been charged, left her Carson City house, driving to meet the confidential informant at a fast food restaurant. When Reasoner left the vehicle to go into the restaurant, officers arrested him.

Police suspected he was impaired and he had a half bottle of vodka. Police arrested him again for driving under the influence, records show.

This was Reasoner’s fifth suspected drunken driving arrest since 2006.

It is nice though that him and his mom share a common interest. Not enough people spend time getting high with their parents these days. That’s the kind of thing that’s gonna look good for him when they are looking for an excuse to give him probation after his plea deal comes through.

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Nevada Transportation Authority Promoted Officer Involved in Hit and Run to Supervisor in Spite of Three Previous DUI’s

Apparently, four times is a charm for Robert Reasoner and the Nevada Transportation Authority. It was during his fourth DUI on January 5th of this year, when he was involved in two separate accidents within the same day, including a hit and run, that Reasoner finally managed to get someone’s attention. Of course, due to the outrageous nature of that fourth instance and Reasoner’s history of driving drunk that “someone” ended up being the local media.

Prior to that, Reasoner had been arrested for driving under the influence in 2006, 2011, and 2016. At the time of the 2006 arrest, he was working for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. During the current incident and the two in 2011 and 2016, Reasoner was (and still is) working for the Nevada Transportation Authority, which overseas taxi and limo drivers and the companies employing them, as well as ride share services such as Uber and Lyft, within the state.

The AG’s office and NTA were officially informed about the 2006 and 2011 arrests, respectively. There’s no public record of what actions, if anything, those departments took to address those arrests. In fact, their promotion of Reasoner from an investigator to a supervisor, implies the exact opposite. Criminally, he received in total two days in jail for the three previous DUI convictions, one of which he was allowed to plea bargain down to a reckless driving charge. According to a Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman, they didn’t even inform the NTA of the 2016 arrest, apparently having decided that it was kinda pointless to even bother.

Unfortunately for Reasoner, it’s a little harder to sweep these kind of things under the rug when you leave a trail of broken cars behind you. Reasoner, who was driving a state owned vehicle at the time, was not only drunk this time, but also had taken the prescription sedative Soma. Even then, they seemingy tried though, with police responding to the first accident only giving him a ticket for “failing to drive with due care.”

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Officials put Reasoner on paid administrative leave on Jan. 6. The Carson City District Attorney charged him last month with leaving the scene of an accident and having an open alcohol container after police found two Pabst Blue Ribbon beers in the state vehicle, court records show. Reasoner has DUI convictions for the 2006 and 2016 arrests and pleaded guilty to reckless driving for the 2011 arrest.

When police found Reasoner at the Carson City house after he fled the Jan. 5 accident, he had .002 percent blood alcohol and had taken a prescription sedative called Soma, the Carson City Sheriff’s report said.

The accident at 3 p.m. was not Reasoner’s only crash that day. About an hour before crashing into the parked SUV, Reasoner rear-ended a couple driving south on North Carson Street, police records show.

Elmer Larsen, the owner of the vehicle, was driving his 2016 Subaru Forester with his wife, Carrol, in the passenger seat when Reasoner hit them with the 2016 Ford Explorer owned by the state and fitted with police lights, Carrol Larsen said in a phone interview.

“My head hit the head rest, and my neck starting (sic) hurting right away,” she said. “I’ve had three back surgeries (before the accident), and when he slammed into the back of us, I went ‘Oh, great.’”

Reasoner, who according to police reports flashed his NTA badge during his 2011 arrest, was also wearing a badge around his neck when he approached the couple and handed them a business card before police arrived, she said.

Police wrote him a ticket for failing to drive with due care. Carrol Larsen was shocked when told of his driving history.

“I think they ought to fire him, and he needs to go jail,” she said.

Reasoner arrest warrant by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Who Sent Dick Pics to Dispatcher Denied Reinstatement

(Note: The image above is an artist’s representation of what those photos may have looked like and possibly might not actually be completely and factually accurate.)

Nevada Highway Patrol Sergeant Kenneth Twiddy went looking for love in the wrong place in 2008 and now he has been rejected again during an employment termination appeal. Twiddy’s 2011 firing for sending dick pics to an unnamed NHP police dispatcher has just been upheld by Nevada State Hearing Officer Paul Lychuk.

Former Sergeant Twiddy’s defense was that the dispatcher didn’t object to the photos at the time he sent them and had even reciprocated by sending nude photos to him. (And that it was cold in the room when he took the pics.)

However, the fact that he was considered a supervisor above her and because his creepy actions represented “egregious conduct” while on duty, his dismissal was upheld.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

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Twiddy’s dismissal had initially been upheld in a 2011 hearing officer decision, but the case was reheard after a Nevada Supreme Court ruling requiring a reassessment over whether the agency had met the burden of proof in dismissing the officer.He and his attorney argued in the hearings that the matter had been blown out of proportion and that the dispatcher receiving the photos via her private cellphone did not object because she had sent him nude photos of herself.

Twiddy also cited his 14-year exemplary record with the Nevada Highway Patrol.

But Lychuk found that the agency had met its burden of proof in terminating Twiddy and reaffirmed the 2011 date of his firing.

There was ample evidence that Twiddy was an officer in a supervisory position whose actions and conduct should have been above reproach, he said.

“Twiddy made a conscious, voluntary decision to engage in egregious conduct while on duty on several occasions,” Lychuk said in the decision.

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Drunk Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Wirtanen Crashes Into Reno Jack In The Box

Apparently, Nevada Highway Trooper Christopher J. Wirtanen worked up quite an appetite while out generating revenue for the State in Reno. Unfortunately, he also worked up quite a thirst along the way. The fact that he decided to satisfy his “thirst” before going for food didn’t really work out well for him or for a local Jack In The Box last weekend. Seems he took the drive thru concept just a bit too literally.

Via the Reno Gazette Journal:

Officers had responded at 2:31 a.m. Friday to a call of a car crash at the Jack in the Box on 5095 S. McCarran Blvd. Upon arrival, they found a silver Volvo resting on the curb near the entrance of the area shopping complex, according to the police report.

In the report, officers said they found Wirtanen alone in the car.

Witnesses told officers they saw Wirtanen trying to drive through the Jack in the Box drive-thru and then he reportedly hit the side of the restaurant. Witnesses also told police that Wirtanen drove the right side of his car onto the curb and pulled out of the drive-thru, scrapping the side of the car on the restaurant wall.

He then traveled across the parking lot, the police report said.

Reno Jack In The Box Drive Thru NHP DUIAn investigation showed that the driver traveled eastbound across the parking lot and drove up onto a planter box, striking some bushes. The driver then struck the raised curb with the front of the car before stopping.

In the report, officers said Wirtanen had admitted to drinking at least five Coors Light beers about an hour before he reportedly crashed. He had a breath alcohol content of .186 from a preliminary breath test, more than double the legal limit of .08.

Wirtanen was taken off the road and placed on desk duties, Department of Public Safety spokesman David Gibson said in an earlier interview.

“Nothing is going to happen as far as him being back in a car until he goes through the courts,” Gibson said.

He was also subject to an internal investigation pending the outcome of the arrest to see if he is able to return to his job on the road, Gibson said.

Wirtanen declined comment and referred comments to Gibson on Thursday. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Wirtanen had made 23 DUI arrests in the past year. He was cooperating with the investigation and was due in court next on Feb. 1.

That last paragraph contains an interesting little tidbit that he’s been averaging close to two arrests a month for the same thing he is out there doing himself. This is also an interesting little prediction/Freudian slip from DPS spokesperson: “Nothing is going to happen as far as him being back in a car until he goes through the courts,” Gibson said. All the Good Cops up there in Reno will make sure he’s back in that car generating revenue and hypocritically arresting drunk drivers.

BTW, Coors Light? Dude, if you’re going to get tanked up, wreck the town, and potentially waste your life, at least be classy about it and drink something sophisticated like PBR.

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