Minden, NV…The celebratory crowds in the Stateline, Round Hill and Zephyr Cove areas of Lake Tahoe were larger than in past years, however with exception of a few altercations in the downtown Casino Core area, Nevada Beach and Zephyr Cove Beach, the crowd was relatively well behaved. Motorists were cooperative with the road closures and traffic control required for the fireworks display.
A total of 21 persons were arrested throughout the day and evening. Charges included: Battery, Trespassing, Larceny, Destruction of Property, Disorderly Conduct, Obstructing a Peace Officer and Minor Consuming Alcohol.
The principal event of the day occurred after the evening’s fireworks display, when a large group of young adults and teenagers began to form on the sidewalk near Stateline Av, between Harrah’s Casino in Nevada and the Embassy Suites Hotel in California.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded for crowd control, during which time they were advised of a fight that had broken out between several persons in the crowd. It was reported that one adult male was knocked down to the ground and was not breathing.
The deputies responded to assist the reported victim male. While the deputies were on-scene trying to provide aid to the male who was down, an unknown adult male from the crowd started yelling at and pushing one of the deputies. Several people in the crowd then began to yell and shout their approval. The crowd quickly surrounded the deputies, with several other persons pushing and yelling at the deputies.
The deputies were able to safely detain two of the involved persons; however as the surrounding crowd grew to an estimated 100 to 150 persons, the deputies requested back-up. Additional Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and South Lake Tahoe Police Officers responded to assist. Several people from the crowd were arrested when they also became involved in the incident by pushing, shoving or striking DCSO deputies or SLTPD officers.
The crowd eventually devolved when deputies and officers ordered them to disperse. Several persons from the crowd were arrested or cited by SLTPD for criminal violations, including Battery on a Peace Officer.
One DCSO deputy sustained an injury to his knee during the incident.
The various law enforcement and support agencies involved in this year’s event worked extremely well together. Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini extends his gratitude to all agencies who participated, including the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Reserve, Nevada Highway Patrol, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Douglas County Communications Center, and Douglas County Search and Rescue.