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Police working to ID rioters, maintain quiet in downtown (updated)

By Jeri Chadwell
Published: Last Updated on

The Reno Police Department is reviewing photo and video footage from the rioting that ensued following Saturday’s peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Reno.

Vandals broke windows and glass doors on the Reno City Hall building, then proceeded inside where they trashed the Reno City Council chambers and broke out windows from which they tossed furniture and other fixtures and set a small fire. A citywide curfew was announced late in the evening as law enforcement continued to clash with rioters who’d moved from the peaceful demonstration in downtown Reno and Midtown, to the police station, the University and back downtown again.

The City of Reno thanked its residents who volunteered Sunday morning to help clean up the downtown area, sweeping up glass and boarding up windows on businesses ranging from the big banks to mom-and-pop restaurants. A few hours later, though, another curfew was issued, this one for 5:30 p.m.

RPD officers and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT units began assembling downtown along the river in the afternoon. Shortly after 5:30 p.m., This Is Reno was told by law enforcement on the scene that businesses and citizens who might have missed the late announcement were being informed of the curfew and that officers would remain in the area into the evening to enforce it. Officers clarified that those on essential business would be allowed to proceed through downtown and warnings would continue to be issued.

Reno Police were enforcing a 5:30 p.m. curfew in Reno after the previous night of riots. Image: Eric Marks
Reno Police were enforcing a 5:30 p.m. curfew in Reno after the previous night of riots. Image: Eric Marks

“Officers out in the field tonight will warn people first. We’re not looking to drastic enforcement, except for those that are committing criminal violations and may be trying to take advantage of the curfew to do criminal acts,” RPD Lieutenant Robert Larson told This Is Reno reporter Eric Marks.

On Monday, a reader sent a tip to This Is Reno suggesting there had been eight arrests on Sunday evening in conjunction with the curfew. This is Reno was not able to confirm this.

“My understanding is that RPD is working on the arrest stats, but that they’re not quite ready to release them,” said Matthew Brown, Communications Program Manager for the City of Reno.

Also on Monday, City Hall—which had previously been open in a limited capacity for non-in-person business—was closed to allow for cleaning and further damage assessment. Initial estimates were in the range of $100,00 but anticipated to rise.

Law enforcement officials are now looking for those responsible for damages associated with the rioting. They’re asking citizens with any information relating to the suspects to contact the RPD at 334-2115 or Secret Witness at 322-4900 or www.secretwitness.com.

Additionally, in a press release issued late Monday afternoon, the Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center (NNRIC), announced that it had created an evidence portal to allow community members to upload photos and/or videos from Saturday’s events.

Those who wish to provide photos and videos will be asked to provide their mobile phone numbers. According to the release, “Intelligence analysts would prefer the witnesses provide their names and email addresses as well; however, that information isn’t mandatory.”

Once said info is submitted, “the witness will be sent a unique link to their cell phone which they can use to upload assets.”

Update, June 2, 2020:

The Reno Police Department reports that three individuals have been arrested in connection with vandalism at the main police station and City Hall on Saturday, May 30. Detectives have also identified additional responsible individuals and are in the process of locating them. The work is the result of the Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center.

Those arrested include:

#1- Leonel Jimenez (10-10-94) was arrested for Burglary and Felony Destruction of Property (DOP). These charges stem from his involvement in the City Hall incident. He was also involved in the police station incident as evidenced by this photo that shows him stomping on the Police Department badge replica.

#2- Ekepati Taua (5/21/1992)  was arrested for Burglary, Felony DOP, Riot and 2 counts of Assault on a Police Officer for his involvement in the City Hall incident. 

#3- 17 year old male-  Arrested for Gross Misdemeanor DOP and a Probation Violation. He is the one who threw rocks and damaged the front door of the station and threw rocks into the police vehicle parking area damaging patrol vehicle windows. 

Police are working to identify another suspect who took down their American Flag and took part in it’s desecration.  They do not have him identified and ask that anyone having any information about this case to contact the Reno Police Department at (775) 334-2188, or Secret Witness at 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP411) keyword – SW.

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