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Sheriff’s Office leads in-custody death investigation



On Sunday, December 25, 2011at approximately 7:45 PM, officers from the Reno Police Department responded to 9801 Crystalline Drive on a report of a domestic disturbance where a male subject had battered another person, made threats to harm others in the residence, and had armed himself with a fork. The subject actively resisted officers as they tried to arrest him and after a lengthy struggle, the subject was taken into custody. Immediately after, officers were checking the subject for injuries and they noticed that the subject was not breathing. The officers and responding fire personnel attempted life-saving resuscitation measures, but they were unsuccessful. The subject was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Three Reno Police Department officers have been placed on routine paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an on-going investigation. This is a routine and normal occurrence in any case involving an in-custody death.

Pursuant to an agreement between regional law enforcement agencies similar to that of an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) Protocol, the in-custody death investigation will be conducted by multiple local law enforcement agencies, with the detectives from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in the lead.

When the preliminary investigation is complete, it will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for an initial determination as to whether the actions taken by the officers were justified under Nevada Law. If the actions initially appear to be justified, the officers can be returned to duty, pending the completion of the in-custody death investigation and a final determination as to justification.

In order to ensure the fairness and integrity of the investigation, no further media comment will be made by law enforcement personnel. Upon completion of the preliminary review, further information will be released, as well as a final report after the investigation and final review are complete.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrates 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 24th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.

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