The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) is investigating a use-of-force case by the Reno Police Department (RPD), and eye witnesses are disputing published accounts of the incident.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2016, Reno Police Department Officers responded to a report of a battery in progress at the 200 block of Ryland Street. Upon arrival, officers discovered that a 58-year-old man had been severely beaten by two neighbors, one of whom was armed with a hammer, over a noise dispute.
Officers located the two suspects, identified as Andres Meza, age 23, and Jacob Robert Finn, age 22, both of whom resisted officer’s attempts to detain them. Finn began to push and kick one officer while Meza, still armed with the hammer, moved toward another officer, ignoring commands to stop and put down the hammer. The officer struck Meza with a baton and deployed a Taser in his defense. No officers were injured during the incident.
Both suspects were ultimately taken into custody. Finn was transported to the Washoe County Detention Facility and Meza was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained while confronting the officers.
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating at the request of RPD to “conduct an outside and objective investigation of the incident.”
Comments on social media differ from the WCSO’s statement, and a video allegedly shot by one of the individuals arrested, Nick Meza, reveals him screaming to police not to come into a house before presumably getting beaten by police.
It appears a police officer is yelling at him to “show me your fucking hands,” “get on the fucking floor” and “get on on the goddamn floor,” while Meza is repeatedly yelling, “You’re in my house.” He also said, “I am not resisting arrest.”
The video appears to show, at the beginning, an officer struggling with an individual.
Shawn Polomares posted this statement on Facebook below the video,
“Last night the cops broke into my old home most people know as “Fort Ryland”, and assaulted my friends Nick Meza and Jacob Finn. They were suspicious about Jacob, so they broke in and beat him with a club. Nick pulled out his phone and tried to record Jacob being beaten. The police didn’t like that Nick was videotaping them. They used their clubs and hit Nick in the face and broke his nose. When my friend Valentine tried to reason with them, one police officer pulled out their gun and pointed it at him. They arrested both my friends Nick and Jacob. Nick only videotaped what happened and was beaten and arrested. Jacob is in jail, Nick is in the ICU”- Nathan Lachner
Alyssa Sosa posted: “i cry every time i look at this shit, think about what i personally witnessed-which was after 12 cars showed up, or read a stupid fucking news article about it.”
Michael Maxwell wrote:
He was hiding in our basement when he took this video. Would a person who was so eager to brandish a weapon to cops be the last person to be attacked?
How can a police officer “not give a fuck” about breaking into a house without a warrant to beat a person who for all he knows was a bystander since he had just (driven) up to the scene.
No charges were announced against Meza and Finn. We asked the Sheriff’s Office what the charges are.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at (775) 328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.