Tag Archives: North Las Vegas

Henderson Police “Not Concerned About” Violent History of Newly Hired Deputy Police Chief Thedrick Andres

Newly hired Henderson NV Deputy Chief of Police Thedrick Andres shot Juan May during an off-duty incident while he was a sergeant at the Arlington Police Department in Texas

A photo taken earlier in the evening shows newly hired Henderson Deputy Police Chief Thedrick Andres and Juan May, the man Andres shot to death after a fight on a party bus.

In November, LaTesha Watson, formerly a deputy police chief with the Arlington (TX) Police Department was sworn in to replace Moers as the Henderson chief of police. Thedrick Andres, who served at the APD with Watson before retiring as a lieutenant, was subsequently hired to replace Long as Watson’s deputy police chief.

While there has been some unhappiness expressed over the department’s decision to pick candidates from out of state as replacements, Deputy Chief Andres’ work history would seem to be right on par with those working within Las Vegas area police departments. That history includes three incidents of violence, two of which involved the use of a firearm by Andres while he was off-duty, at the Arlington (TX) Police Department.

During what was described as a road rage incident, Andres pulled his gun on another driver after claiming that driver had threatened him with a hatchet. That “hatchet” that reportedly caused him to believe his life was in danger turned out to be a plastic ice scraper. Previously, while employed at the New Orleans Police Department, Andres was also accused of using excessive force in a citizen complaint.

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.

Party Bus Shooting

The most troubling incident from Andres’ past was his fatal shooting of a Marine veteran named Juan May in June of 2014. That incident began with a birthday party, which took place on a “party bus.” Although May and other relatives of his who were among the twenty people on that bus didn’t know Andres or that he was (at the time) a sergeant with the Arlington Police Department, the group picture above implies there was possibly some mutual friendships between them.

Juan May was murdered by Henderson Deputy Chief Thedrick Andres while he was a Sgt. at the Arlington Police Department

Juan May

According to descriptions, at some point someone (presumably May) jokingly suggested that Andres should dance on a stripper pole that was on the bus. That apparently offended Andres and led him to begin directing derogatory remarks at May and his relatives. This later escalated into a physical fight once they left the bus after Andres approached May and reignited the argument.

There are some differences in the details of what happened next among eyewitness statements. However, there are several common denominators among them. Everyone agrees that Andres is the one who approached May and began the final argument and that he had been drinking on the party bus. They also agree that Andres also hit Juan’s cousin, Patrick May, who was attempting to break up the fight.

The other point of agreement is that shortly after, when Juan May was walking back to his car, Andres began running to his own car. Witnesses state that “someone” yelled that he had a gun in his vehicle. Andres, in fact, retrieved that gun and killed May with it, later claiming he had fired in self-defense.

Not surprisingly (since grand juries are primarily used for that purpose in cases involving police officers), he was eventually exonerated by a grand jury in spite of the retrieval of a weapon after a fight being pretty well established as an act of premeditation.

Police Chief Latesha Watson is Not Concerned

It shouldn’t be surprising that Chief Watson isn’t concerned about Andres’ past. Of course, she worked with him for years in Texas and obviously is the reason he was hired to be the second in command at the Henderson Police Department. In spite of the fact her statement that “if someone was found guilty of wrongdoing, then they wouldn’t have a job,” when applied to police officers is at best a technicality, it’s not something that should be unexpected.

The Henderson Police Department's newly hired Deputy Chief of Police, Thedrick Andres, and Chief of Police, LaTesha Watson

Thedrick Andres and LaTesha Watson

However, the lack of concern by the City of Henderson is something that should draw a few more raised eyebrows. After all, Watson and Andres were hired to replace two police executives who were forced to resign after sexual harassment claims were made against them and the Henderson City Council was caught covering that up by portraying it as a “mutual parting of ways.

In addition, Assistant City Manager Greg Blackburn, who previously resigned from a city government position in North Las Vegas after a sexual harassment scandal, is currently under investigation again for (you guessed it) sexual harassment in Henderson and Mayor Debra March has also just been sanctioned over ethics violations. (At this point, it takes a bit of searching to find someone in the Henderson city government that isn’t under some sort of investigation.)

When you consider all that, maybe you should look to hire someone who doesn’t already have a history that includes excessive force complaints and pulling guns on (or actually shooting) unarmed people while off-duty. Maybe that’s a good idea for the City of Henderson for PR reasons, if nothing else. You know, hire someone who is less likely to create yet another misconduct scandal.

Of course, Henderson is the city known for not prosecuting (and later promoting) a cop who was caught on video repeatedly kicking a man suffering from diabetic shock in the head, because “they train officers to do that in the police academy.”

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Was Las Vegas Cop Who Guarded Stephen Paddock’s Door at the Mandalay Bay on October 1st “Set Up” on Sex Charges?

One of the officers assigned to guard Stephen Paddock's door after they (finally) entered his room was Officer Bret Theil

    Bret Theil, one of the LVMPD officers that (eventually) entered Stephen Paddock’s room, was arrested for sexual abuse of a child, leading to speculation of ulterior motives for those charges.

Yesterday, I did a post about LVMPD Officer Bret Theil, the latest in a long and fast growing line of Las Vegas cops facing charges related to violence against women and/or sex crimes. He was indicted on Wednesday on over two dozen counts related to the sexual abuse of a child. That child is reportedly a family member and a according to several sources that abuse began when the victim was only seven years old.

Theil was arrested after an armed standoff with a Las Vegas SWAT team that began Wednesday night and didn’t end until early Thursday morning. As I reported yesterday, this was the second Metro cop that was involved in a “barricade situation” within the past week. There have also been over a half dozen Las Vegas area police officers involved in some sort of crime against women just since the beginning of this year.

Since that story was posted though, some additional information about Officer Theil has surfaced. The nature of that new information has led to a lot of speculation and theories about those charges being some sort of retaliation or method of “keeping him quiet” by Las Vegas police and the MGM corporation.

Did He See/Do Something He Shouldn’t Have?

It turns out that Theil was also one of the officers involved in (eventually) entering Stephen Paddock’s hotel room at the Mandalay Bay on October 1st during the Route 91 Festival Shooting. Based on the LVMPD’s Force Investigation Team (who are usually assigned to investigate when Metro police officers kill someone) report, Theil and another officer named Burns were assigned to guard the door to the suite Paddock had been staying at.

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.

LVMPD report shows Officer Bret Theil was assigned to guard Stephen Paddock's room at the Mandalay Bay.

LVMPD report naming Theil as one of the officers that guarded Stephen Paddock’s door. (Click for full size)

So the theory goes that Theil saw or was somehow involved in something shady that happened during the October 1st shootings. Variations of the theory are that he was set up with the sexual assault charges either to keep him quiet about whatever he potentially saw or to retaliate for some unspecified thing he did since then. The basics are that Sheriff Lombardo and the MGM ownership want to destroy his credibility and/or scare him into not talking.

Personally, I think there are some real holes in that theory, though. The first would be that if you want to keep someone from talking one of the worst strategies for that would be to set them up to face multiple life sentences in prison. They pretty much have nothing to lose at that point.

So why wouldn’t they go ahead and tell everything they knew to anyone that would listen? Of course, the other side of this coin is that the nature of the charges would ruin his so no-one would listen. The truth is though that someone will always be willing to listen if you are telling them something they want to hear. Plus, if you’re trying to pull attention away from something that’s a terrible strategy, even if most people won’t believe it.

Also, if you were trying to get rid of someone and you’re in the middle of an armed standoff with them, just killing them is easily the best way to do that. If a big part of your argument against Metro’s handling of the Mandalay Bay investigation is that they control investigations and cover-up facts (which is actually very true), then it follows that he would be very dead right now if they were trying to keep him quiet.

And, by extension, nobody who would want to question it would be given access to evidence that would enable them to raise those questions. The fact that they didn’t just shoot him like they do with most people that get involved in armed standoffs, but aren’t cops, tends to counter that argument that they were “out to get him.” Instead, Theil will live to get his beneficial plea deal and serve the probation he is likely to be sentenced to.

The other much more pragmatic reason why I don’t believe Officer Thiel was set up is the fact that it wasn’t a case of child porn being found on his computer or in his possession. (The fact that police claim to have found child porn on Paddock’s computer and that his brother is facing child porn charges in California is something that has factored into the theories.) Something like that could conceivably be planted on his computer.

However, these allegations are that he preyed on an actual known person and that person was a very young child. I believe those two factors make it very unlikely (not at all impossible, though) that he was just set up with false charges. I personally think the reality is that there are so many rapists, pedophiles, and domestic batterers within the LVMPD and such a total lack of any sort of accountability (as well as within other departments nationwide) that the odds say at least one of them that was in that hallway (standing around for 75 minutes before they finally went in the room) was bound to be one.

What Happened in Vegas?

As has been detailed numerous times here at NVCopBlock.org, the movie What Happened in Vegas explores the extremely controversial killings of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Farmer-Brown by Las Vegas police and the cover ups that followed. Several other instances of violent, racist, and/or outright criminal acts by members of the LVMPD are also featured to illustrate the overall systemic corruption within the department.

A portion of that documentary is also devoted to the shootings that happened at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas on October 1st. Among other things, it explores the reasons why Sheriff Joe Lombardo and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have been so willing to cover up and even lie about what happened.

It also ties those irregularities within the Mandalay Bay shooting investigation to the similar motives for the cover-ups of the murders of Cole, Scott, Gibson, and Farmer-Brown. As pointed out in the movie by director Ramsey Denison, by and large it’s a matter of liability and pressure from the casinos to assure tourists they should feel safe and continue coming to Las Vegas, since that is the single major industry within the city.

Of course, there’s also a fair amount of incompetence and corruption among the police themselves that has to be factored into that. That holds true with the investigation around the Mandalay Bay Shooting as well. They were already holding press conferences before the investigation had hardly even begun painting themselves as heroes and assuring everyone that there was only one shooter and that he was dead.

After that, they didn’t want to talk about the fact their officers stood around in a hallway outside the room of a man who had already fired on a defenseless crowd (and a security guard in that same hallway) or anything else that contradicted those narratives.

What Happened in Vegas” is currently available on DVD or Video on Demand (VOD) if you want to learn more about just how corrupt (and violent) the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is and what their role has been in the cover-up surrounding the October 1st shooting you can order it at WhatHappenedInVegasTheMovie.com by clicking here.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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LVMPD Officer Charged with Sexual Assault of Child is Second Vegas Cop Involved in Armed Standoff Within Week

SWAT standoff at Cold Creek Canyon area with accused pedophile Officer Bret Theil

Las Vegas Police Officer Bret Theil, who was indicted on over a dozen charges of sex abuse against a child, engaged in an armed standoff with SWAT overnight Wednesday.

On Wednesday (Feb. 7), it was announced that Officer Bret Theil, who has been with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department since 1998, had been indicted on charges related to the sexual abuse of a child. After his indictment was announced, Theil was involved in an armed standoff with LVMPD SWAT teams.

Update: Coincidentally (?), Theil was also one of the officers involved in (eventually) entering Stephen Paddock’s hotel room at the Mandalay Bay on October 1st during the Route 91 Festival Shooting. Obviously, that has led to speculation that Theil was set up with the sexual assault charges to keep him quiet about whatever he potentially saw. (Click here to view LVMPD report listing Officer Theil as one of two officers assigned to guard door to Paddock’s suite.)

Personally, I think if you want to keep someone from talking one of the worst strategies for that would be to set them up to face multiple life sentences in prison. The pretty much have nothing to lose at that point. Also, if you were trying to get rid of someone and you’re in the middle of an armed standoff with them, just killing them is about the best way to do that.

Basically, there are so many rapists, pedophiles, and domestic batterers within the LVMPD that the odds say at least one of them that was in that hallway (standing around for 75 minutes before they finally went in the room) was bound to be one.

That standoff took place at Corn Creek Canyon, a camping/hiking area about 23 miles outside of Las Vegas. Officer Theil lives in the suburb of North Las Vegas and the NLV police were initially conducting the standoff until it was determined he was an LVMPD officer and Metro took over. Beginning late Wednesday night, the “barricade situation” continued until early Thursday morning. Theil was described as being armed and suicidal.

Not many other details have been released about the standoff at this point. However, it was confirmed that Officer Theil was (of course) taken into custody without injury. He was then taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation. From there he will be transferred to the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC).

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.

Not very many details have been released regarding the charges he was indicted on earlier in the day, either. It was reported that he was facing charges related to the sexual abuse of a child. The victim of those crimes, which took place over the span of several years, was also a family member. In addition, local media has reported that the victim had been receiving unspecified threats via email after Theil was notified of the impending indictment.

Las Vegas police officer Bret Theil was arrested during SWAT standoff on charges of sexually assaulting a child

SWAT standoff with LVMPD Officer Bret Theil

Currently, he faces 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.

The charges were filed by North Las Vegas police and include felony charges that carry the possibility of life sentences if he is convicted. Of course, the fact he is a cop means he will likely receive a very generous plea bargain offer. He’s probably more likely to receive probation than a long prison sentence. (As always, I’ll be following the case and providing updates.)

Metro Officer Involved in Domestic Disturbance

As indicated by the title of this post, Officer Theil apparently wasn’t the only cop to engage in an armed standoff within the past week. On Super Bowl Sunday, there was another incident in which a “suicidal man armed with multiple guns” barricaded himself in his house and also had to be coaxed out by a SWAT team. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that he also was taken to a hospital for mental evaluation. There was no indication of what (or if) he would be charged with criminally.

Neither the LVMPD nor local media have officially identified the man involved yet. However, sources have stated that he is Metro Officer Jeffery M. Arrigo. Those sources also said that this standoff was the result of a domestic disturbance. Not surprisingly, given the high percentage of domestic violence among police (and the cover ups involved), Officer Arrigo already has a previous history of domestic abuse. In September of 2015, he was arrested on domestic battery charges.

Other Recent Incidents

It’s been a busy past couple of months for Las Vegas police officers involving sexual crimes and crimes against women:

And that’s just since the beginning of this year.

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Las Vegas School Cop Accused of Assaulting Student and Staff Looked “a Little Bit Crazy-Like” While Swinging Baton

Officer James Lescinsky, who I reported on in June, has begun his trial for assault against a student and a member of the school staff after a fight between two students in the lunch room in May of 2015. He’s also been accused of falsifying his reports to cover up the assaults.

Earlier this week, the federal prosecutors rested their case against the Clark County School District police officer. Witnesses testified that Lescinsky used excess force against the student to break up the fight and then broke the hand of a female staff member with his baton after she tried to intercede on behalf of the student. That testimony added some interesting details to the previous descriptions of the incident.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Earlier Tuesday, school staffers testified that they saw Lescinsky come into the lunchroom about noon on May 21, 2015, with his baton in the air looking to break up a disturbance.

Monique Hawkins-Wells, an office assistant, said she screamed when she saw Lescinsky swinging the baton, as she was trying to usher students out of the cafeteria.

She testified that she saw the officer push the teenage girl out the cafeteria face first into a concrete wall in the hallway.

Hiding Those Crazy Eyes

Hiding Those Crazy Eyes

Another staffer, food service supervisor Gloria Henyard-Hall, testified that Lescinsky looked “a little bit crazy-like” after he stumbled while entering the lunchroom.

On Monday, the school maintenance worker, Tarika Rushing, told Dorsey from the witness stand that Lescinsky without warning struck her left hand with the baton as she was trying to calm the student, who had been pulled away from a lunchroom fight with another girl. Rushing said the baton broke one of her fingers.

Federal prosecutors contend that Lescinsky’s actions were inconsistent with his training and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

(Defense lawyer Jack) Campbell maintained that Rushing and the girl were in a heated altercation and that three separate police supervisors later found Lescinsky’s conduct “reasonable” under department policy.
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It shouldn’t exactly be shocking that police supervisors found Officer Lescinsky’s behavior “reasonable” since police supervisors routinely find anything, up to and including videotaped murder, “reasonable.” That’s especially true in Las Vegas area police departments, where District Attorney Steve Wolfson once justified the kicking of a motorist suffering from diabetic shock in the head because the Henderson police train them to do that in the academy. Even more specifically, the CCSD police supervisors recently determined that when a group of school police got a bunch of teens drunk then allowed one of them to drive home, resulting in a fatal DUI accident, and covered it up afterwards, it was  “within the scope of their duties.”

According to his lawyer, Officer Lescinsky won’t be testifying on his own behalf, but he already has a stacked deck in his favor. Lescinsky “waived” his right to a jury trial and instead will have his case decided by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey. I wonder how long it will take for her to announce her decision that her co-worker’s conduct was “reasonable.”

Las Vegas School Cop Charged With Assaulting Student and Staff Member With Baton Enters Plea

In May, Officer James Lescinsky became the latest in a growing number of Las Vegas school cops to be implicated in a violent crime and/or official misconduct. Lescinsky, while employed by the Clark County School District Police in North Las Vegas, is accused of assaulting both a student and a school staff member with his police baton in May of 2015. He’s also accused of slamming the student into a wall and onto the floor. Additionally, he has been charged with falsifying his report and lying to cover up his actions.

On May 26, Officer Lescinsky made his initial court appearance and pled not guilty to five federal charges. In addition to the assault charges and the charge of falsifying an incident report, he’s also charged with tampering with a witness by asking them to lie and support his story.

Neither the student nor the staff member, both of whom are female, have been identified publicly.

Via the Las Vegas Sun:

A Las Vegas-area school police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges alleging he attacked a student and a school staff member and tried to cover it up.

 James Lescinsky, 45, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen, who let him remain free ahead of a July 26 trial, but ordered him to surrender personal weapons and return his police equipment to the Clark County School District.
Lescinsky has been suspended from his district and police duties, a district spokeswoman said…

An indictment alleges that Lescinsky struck and injured the female staff member with a police baton, and unlawfully assaulted the student by hitting her with the baton and slamming her into a hallway wall and floor.

Lescinsky is accused of lying when he said the student was combative and that the student and staff member were wrestling; of falsifying incident reports; and of trying to persuade a witness to provide a false account of the incident.

Convictions on the five charges could get Lescinsky decades in prison.

Slap On The WristI wouldn’t hold your breath based on the theory that he could get “decades in prison,” though. I can almost guarantee you he’ll get the typical Policeman’s Discount. He isn’t likely to spend even a day in jail once they give him a plea deal for some dramatically lesser charge involving a very hard slap on the wrist and some probation time.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

Off Duty Las Vegas Cops “Accidentally” Shoot at Relative 27 Times

Just before midnight on Christmas, an unnamed female LVMPD corrections officer and her husband (who obviously hasn’t been named either, but is reportedly a police cadet) fired 27 shots combined at a female relative who lived in the same house as them. Apparently, they weren’t expecting her to come home at that time and rather than take any chances or pause for a second to make sure it wasn’t the other person that lived in the same house as them, they came rolling out guns blazing.

Probably the most amazing thing about this is that they only managed to hit her once in the leg, even though they fired slightly less bullets than the Sioux fired at General Custer. Of course, the thing that is not at all amazing is that the North Las Vegas police (where the house is located) have announced that neither of them will be facing any sort of charges, nor is the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department interested in even investigating the incident.

Tunnel -banner MAC AdVia CBS 8 News Now in Las Vegas:

When officers arrived at the scene, they learned what transpired to cause two Metro employees — a man and woman — to fire their weapons at what they believed was a burglar.

However, the person shot was a relative who lives with them.  The relative wasn’t expected home that night.  Investigators say the relative was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

None of the people involved in the incident have been identified.  However, 8 News NOW has learned one of Metro employees (sic) is a corrections officer.

LVMPD ShootingMetro Police says it doesn’t know of any policy violations that would warrant an investigation.  There is a policy regarding the accidental discharge of a firearm, but that doesn’t apply in the recent situation.

Under Metro’s policy, an accidental discharge would require an investigation by the Force Investigation Team, but that’s in cases where a gun goes off while an officer is cleaning it or after a gun fires when the officer may have been pointing it, and didn’t mean to pull the trigger.

In the North Las Vegas case, the Metro employees did intend to fire their guns because they thought the person they were shooting at was an intruder.

However, the incident isn’t considered an officer-involved shooting because the Metro employees weren’t on duty, and they weren’t acting in the capacity of police officers.

That is why North Las Vegas Police are investigating it as a situation in which the homeowners thought they were dealing with what they perceived was a threat in their own home.

Police in North Las Vegas are still investigating, but at this point 8 News NOW has been told, there’s nothing that leads them to pursue criminal charges.

I have some real doubts that if someone who didn’t have a magical uniform hanging in their closet unloaded a couple dozen bullets at their roommate because they arrived home early, whether Metro or the NLV police would just write it off as a wacky little faux pas. In fact, call me crazy, but maybe somebody who would do that isn’t someone that should be running around pointing guns at people on a regular basis.

Truth be told, I have /.[plenty of doubts about this whole story from the get go. Knowing someone else lives at the house, who wouldn’t check to see if that was who had come through the door before shooting enough rounds to kill half the neighborhood? Why wouldn’t that person say something after the shooting started? I mean it’s a given that a good percentage of the LVMPD are trigger happy maniacs who will shoot people at the drop of a hat, but this is a relative that lives with you and “had access to the house,” which implies they didn’t have to break in. At this point, it’s purely speculation, but I would not be at all surprised if something more than the current official story comes out in the future.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

LVMPD Corrections Officer Robert Moore Arrested on “Prostitution Related Crime”

Earlier this week it was reported that Robert Moore, an LVMPD corrections officer, had become the latest Metro cop to be arrested for a sex related crime. Although not many details were made public, it was disclosed that Officer Moore was arrested on December 23rd for what was described as a misdemeanor violation of the Unlawful Prostitution Act.

Via the Republic:

Las Vegas police say they arrested a fellow corrections officer nearly a week ago for a misdemeanor prostitution charge.

The department’s public information office said Monday that officers arrested Robert Moore on Dec. 23 for a misdemeanor violation of the Unlawful Prostitution Act.

The office released the information about Moore’s arrest after it closed on Monday. Court records and contact information for Moore or an attorney representing him were not immediately available, and Moore could not be reached for comment.

The statement makes no specific mention of what Moore is accused of doing.

Police say Moore has since been released from the Las Vegas City Jail and placed on paid administrative leave pending internal and criminal investigations. The statement says Moore has been with the department since May 2005.

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Officer Moore is just the latest Las Vegas cop to join the ever increasing ranks of sex offenders wearing a badge. Earlier this year, a LVMPD detective was arrested after beating a prostitute while on duty when she attempted to charge him more than the price they had previously agreed on. In May, Metro Officer Patrick Taylor was arrested on child porn charges. Also this year, a former NLV police chief admitted that he didn’t conduct a proper investigation and then destroyed evidence related to child porn on the North Las Vegas Mayor’s computer. In another incident, a Las Vegas court marshal sexually assaulted a woman during court, then had her arrested when she complained to the judge about it.

Former Las Vegas County Commissioner Tom Collins Arrested for DUI

Tom Collins, who recently resigned as a Clark County Commissioner, was arrested on for DUI on December 12th. Reportedly, he was involved in an accident in which someone in another car was injured. Prior to being arrested, Collins apparently spent the evening getting liquored up at the National Finals Rodeo, which is held annually at the Thomas and Mack Center on the UNLV campus.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Metro’s dispatch and booking logs show that Collins, whose legal name is Clarence Weldon Collins Jr., was involved in a car crash with injury about 7:02 p.m. Friday near Flamingo Road and Koval Lane. More information on the wreck was not immediately available Saturday.

Collins was booked at 7:50 p.m. and faces charges of driving under the influence and being above the legal limit, logs show.

About two hours before the crash, Collins tweeted a photo of UNLV’s Thomas and Mack Center featuring the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo sign. Along with the photo, he asks “Are you on your way?”

Another tweet from Collins’ account shows that he was at the WNFR with his mother on Thursday.

Thomas and Mack is about a mile and a half from the location of the car crash.

Commissioner Tom Collins Arrested DUIThis isn’t exactly surprising to residents of Las Vegas, since Collins has been unofficially and less than affectionately known as the “Town Drunk” by many during his time as a county commissioner. Stories of his drunken exploits are pretty common and there’s even been speculation about whether he was drinking during commission meetings. Nor is this his first rodeo. (You saw what I did there.) In 1991 he was involved in a felony drunk driving incident in which he and two other passengers in his truck were injured.

Most famously, in July of 2012 Collins “was mad at his tree so he took his firearm out of the truck and began to shoot at the tree and a post in his backyard.” In spite of noticing open whiskey and beer bottles on the ground and inside his truck, which was parked nearby and running, (and the ridiculousness of that statement) police officers responding to his neighbors’ complaints of gunshots didn’t arrest him for using a gun while drunk (which is a felony in Nevada), for a DUI, or even for discharging a gun recklessly. They just took his guns away and left, without even giving him a sobriety test. In fact, the minor charges he faced after the incident were ultimately dismissed altogether.

So the one thing that is somewhat surprising is that he was actually arrested this time, however the fact that there was an injury involved probably forced Metro’s hand. Given Collins’ long history of supporting the LVMPD and benefiting from special treatment from them, there’s somewhat of a chicken and egg argument about who is repaying whom.

He voted to overturn the reforms to the flawed Coroner’s Inquest process for reviewing police shootings which were prompted by the murder of Erik Scott in 2010. Instead, an even more flawed process was put into place after lawsuits by the LVMPD and police union opposing the reforms were defeated.

In addition, Collins was the biggest proponent of the “More Cops” tax, that sought to raise local sales taxes to fund hiring additional cops for the already overpaid and mismanaged Las Vegas area police departments. Collins literally refused to listen to the citizens of Clark County, constantly bringing the proposal back after it was repeatedly defeated over the course of nine months in 2013/14.

Collins was criticized heavily after making remarks to a Utah politician that could be classified as indirect threats that people coming from out of state during the Bundy Ranch standoff would be killed by BLM agents. He also made waves recently when recordings of phone calls were released of him talking badly about other commissioners. In addition, there’s been speculation that his resignation from the county commission was in part due to yet another scandal involving “inappropriate” emails he sent to county staff members.

On a lighter side, one of the most interesting revelations brought about by his arrest is the fact that his actual legal name is Clarence. The fact that he is known for being an alcoholic and is named after a famous drink has always been a running joke. Knowing that he chose to name himself that takes it to a new level.

N. Las Vegas Police Chief Admitted Covering Up for Mayor in Child Porn Investigation

Child Porn Investigation North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee

Outgoing North Las Vegas Police Chief Joseph Chronister has admitted that child porn on NLV Mayor John Lee’s iPad was not properly investigated and was instead deleted by a detective.

In North Las Vegas, the outgoing police chief, Joseph Chronister, admitted in May that NLV Mayor John Lee received special treatment and that special treatment was based on his position and his ability to affect “certain aspects” of the NLVPD. This special treatment took place during an investigation, which began after the mayor asked police officers working at city hall for assistance in removing child porn from his iPad.

NLVPD Chief Joseph Chronister

Former Chief Joseph Chronister

Mayor Lee claimed that the child porn was on his tablet because “a hacker” sent it to him in an email. However, during the investigation no such email was found and the browser history showed that the iPad had been used to access illegal porn sites that included what appeared to be child porn.

In addition, a week prior to approaching the officer about the iPad, the mayor made what was described as an odd request for help with “debugging a phone” in a voicemail to the Chief. As a result, some have speculated that the hacker sending an email story was just an excuse concocted to hide the true source, possibly amid fear that the incriminating material would eventually be found.

In a statement to the Las Vegas Review Journal shortly after his retirement, Former Chief Chronister stated that the detective assigned to the investigation did an incomplete investigation, didn’t follow up on inconsistent evidence uncovered during that investigation, and later took the mayor’s iPad to an Apple Store to have its memory wiped, before returning it to the mayor.

Via the LVRJ:

North Las Vegas police got the case after the mayor asked the department for help removing what he believed to be child pornography from his personal iPad. A detective helped out but didn’t check any of the mayor’s other electronic devices or press Lee on why his story didn’t make sense in light of evidence found, a police report filed last year shows.

Asked if anyone else would have been treated the same way, the chief said the short answer is no.

“We’re talking about the mayor of North Las Vegas,” Chronister said. “He is a person of authority. He is a person of power. He absolutely has the ability to control certain aspects of our department.”

That includes who the chief of police is.

NLV Mayor John Lee

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee (right)

The “investigation” lasted all of one day, apparently included no questions about the lack of that email or the presence of the porn sites in Mayor Lee’s browser history, didn’t include any attempt to investigate if other devices under his control also contained such material, and concluded with Detective Mark Hoyt “going above and beyond” to make sure any incriminating evidence was thoroughly wiped out of the iPad’s memory at the Apple Store.

Hoyt’s excuse for not doing a complete investigation was that the apparent children on the porn site were from a different country and therefore he couldn’t determine their age. Chronister, who was in fact later replaced as NLV police chief by Mayor Lee anyway, now says he wishes his department had done more.

Meanwhile, Joseph Dooley, a retired FBI agent who previously ran Connecticut’s computer crimes task force, agrees they should have done more. Among other things, he states (in the same article) that the country where the porn sites originated from should not have kept them from conducting an investigation into what appears to be kiddie porn, that the iPad should have been seized immediately, and that the email story “couldn’t have happened as the mayor described.”

Dooley also classifies Det. Hoyt’s trip to the Apple Store to have the memory wiped as “bizarre.” Instead, they should have consulted the District Attorney‘s Office to determine if there was probable cause to seize other devices and investigate if they contained similar material.

Las Vegas area police departments have been no stranger to sex based crimes lately, including two members of the LVMPD being arrested for child porn. Beyond that, another Metro detective was just given a light sentence after he attacked a prostitute when she tried to raise the price on him, yet another has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a domestic violence call, a Clark County Court Marshall groped a woman in court and then had her arrested for reporting it to a judge, and the former head of the Las Vegas Constable’s Office was caught covering up one of his underling’s illegal use of the department’s background check system to find personal information about his favorite adult film stars.

When you have police chiefs openly admitting that they gave special treatment to city officials and that that special treatment was predicated on the fact that “He is a person of authority. He is a person of power. He absolutely has the ability to control certain aspects of our department” that’s the kind of results you end up with. Especially when you pair that with a district attorney who’s literally never seen a police shooting he couldn’t justify. The fact that Former Chief Chronister could come out with an admission like that and not even really cause much of stir actually tells you a lot about “accountability” among the police and public officials in Las Vegas.

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Nevada Court Upholds Firing of North Las Vegas Cop for Covering Up Brother’s Crime

On June 25th, the Nevada Supreme Court overturned a decision by a lower court that would have reinstated a North Las Vegas police officer. That officer, Lazario Ruiz, was fired after he failed to report and then lied about an incident in which his brother argued with and then stole jewelry from another man. Officer Ruiz was present during the confrontation, which involved a brother-in-law, but also made no effort to intervene or prevent the crime.

Police are legally required to report any crimes they witness. Police department policies also generally require officers to stop and/or apprehend anyone they see committing a crime. There are some “discretionary” exceptions, but that would hardly be appropriate when a family member is involved in something that is clearly a criminal act. (There is quite obviously a victim here.)

According to the Las Vegas Sun:

The court overturned the decision of District Judge Valorie Vega who had ruled the procedure was faulty in dismissing Ruiz for untruthfulness and unprofessional conduct.

North Las Vegas Police BadgeRuiz was present when his brother Tony confronted Oscar Talamantes, a brother-in-law, over money in August 2009. After the argument, Tony Ruiz ripped two gold chains off the neck of Talamantes and fled. Talamantes reported a robbery to police.

North Las Vegas officials maintained that Officer Ruiz was within 2 feet of the incident, never made a police report or made any effort to stop his brother. He maintained he did not see the encounter.

During the investigation, Ruiz gave four statements that the city said were untruthful.

An arbitrator admitted the four statements in his review of the case and ruled the dismissal was proper.

Judge Vega held that the four statements of Ruiz violated the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights and ruled in favor of the officer to return to his job.

The court ruled that there was substantial evidence to back the decision of the arbitrator and taht (sic) Judge Vega abused her discretion in ruling in favor of Ruiz.

So, Judge Vega’s ruling aside, that’s a rare bit of accountability for the Las Vegas area police departments. To be fair, even the LVMPD has somewhat of a track record of firing cops involved in financial crimes. It’s just that killing people thing they don’t seem to be too concerned about.

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