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.