Quotation: Bar fight preceded Las Vegas police officer’s resignation
In what was originally reported to authorities as an attack, the then metropolitan police officer, John Squeo, pushed and bit a man outside a bar east of the strip last summer, police reported.
Nine months later he was absent from the Las Vegas police.
The victim – a bar clerk – suffered from “bleeding, redness and swelling” in his “left back” area, according to Squeos’ quote, a copy of which was received Wednesday night by the Las Vegas Review Journal. What preceded the incident was not outlined in the one-sided citation.
Police logs show it happened in the parking lot of FreeZone, a bar and nightclub near Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue, at around 12:45 am on June 20, where after a report of an “attack / a battery ”has been removed.
A request for comment from FreeZone was not immediately returned on Wednesday.
That morning, 29-year-old Squeo was charged with battery by the Metropolitan Police Department, the police force he served for six years, according to the quote. But in August, as court records show, Squeo instead pleaded for a disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to “serving time”.
According to the quote, Squeo, who joined Metro in 2014, was put on paid vacation at least until the end of February before stepping down on March 21.
The nightclub encounter took place on June 1, following the fatal shooting by police of Jorge Gomez, an armed Black Lives Matter protester.
Lawyers hired by the Gomez family said Squeo’s actions that evening sparked a series of fast-moving events that ended with Gomez’s death.
According to Metro, Squeo was part of a group of law enforcement officers guarding Lloyd George’s U.S. courthouse when thousands of people streamed the streets of downtown Las Vegas to protest police brutality and racism.
When the protest ended, Gomez, who was armed and wearing a ballistics vest, walked towards the courthouse. His pickup was parked a block away.
At the time, Gomez had a Glock 19 pistol on his hip and a Glock 23 pistol in a carbine conversion kit over his shoulder. A third weapon, which Metro said had been converted into a short-barreled rifle, was later found in his backpack.
From the top of the courthouse, Squeo fired non-fatal beanbag projectiles at Gomez, sending him in the opposite direction. His back turned to the officers.
Within seconds, four other subway officials who happened to be driving past the courthouse fired a total of 19 shots at Gomez, killing him.
The officers who fired the fatal shots – Ryan Fryman, Dan Emerton, Vernon Ferguson and Andrew Locher – alleged Gomez pointed one of his guns at the officers stationed outside the courthouse and ordered them to shoot.
Earlier this month, Metro detective Jason Leavitt, who led the police investigation into the violence, said no video evidence was found during a public review of the evidence showing that Gomez aimed a gun at the police .
Contact Rio Lacanlale at [email protected] or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.