On September 10, 2014 Sparks Police responded to a report of a lewd act that had been committed in the area of the 2500 block of G St.
Officers spoke with a child who said that she was walking home from school when she noticed a car in the 2500 block of G St. She saw that the male in the car was actively masturbating. The girl ran toward home, and the vehicle was last seen southbound on El Rancho Drive.
The male is described as a Hispanic male, 40-50 years of age with a heavy build, black or brown hair, and what appeared to be prescription glasses. He was wearing a checkered shirt and light brown pants. The vehicle is described as an older, small, brown four-door passenger car of an unknown make. The vehicle may have had some sort of specialized Nevada license plate.
During the report for today's event, the girl described a similar incident which occured approximately two weeks prior in the area of Cygnet Circle and G St.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sparks Police detectives at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
Sparks Police arrested 15 year old Carlos Montoya on 9/2/14 for the murder that occurred on 9/1/14 on 11th Street in Sparks. The victim's identity is still being witheld pending autopsy and family notifications.
On September 2, 2014 at about 7:45 p.m. Sparks Police officers responded to a reported stabbing in the 1100 block of Sbragia Way.
Upon arrival, officers located a male who had non-life threatening injuries. Based on exigent circumstances, officers entered the home and checked for a female who was potentially involved in the incident. Officers found that much of the furniture in the house had been damaged, and a clear altercation of some sort had taken place. The female was not located.
Officers attempted to interview the male and determine what had taken place, but he was uncooperative.
The male was treated for his injuries on scene. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Sparks Police at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
On August 30th, 2014 at approximately 2221 hours the Sparks Police Department responded to the 600 block of C street to check the welfare of Corina Lea Laramore, 35 yoa, and her daughter Willow, 7 yoa.
During the investigation it was learned that Laramore may be suicidal and with her 7 year old daughter Willow. Laramore and Willow were last seen leaving a residence in the 900 block of Railborne on August 30th, at 1130 hours. For the last several hours, officers have spoken with numerous relatives and friends and we have been unsuccessful in locating them.
Laramore and Willow may be in a black 2002 Saturn NV 903-XCP.
The Sparks Police Department is asking for help in locating the mother and child. Attached are photographs of each. There is no further information to be released at this time.
On 8/28/14, Sparks Police responded to a report of an armed robbery that had just occurred in the 1800 block of Brierley Way. Upon arrival, Officers found the victim bound inside the warehouse. The suspect had entered the warehouse and used a handgun to hold the victim at gunpoint. A picture of the suspect is attached. The suspect left with no money or product from the warehouse but did take the victim's vehicle and cell phone. Police later recovered the vehicle and cell phone in Reno. The suspect is described as a white male approximately 25-30 years of age. He is described as 6'1" with a thin build last seen wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants with black shoes. The suspect may wear prescription glasses. The suspect wrapped his face in a roll of gauze. Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to call the Sparks Police Department at (775) 353-2231 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.
On October 13, 2013, members of the Sparks Police Department responded to 1506 Woodhaven Lane on the report of a suicidal female, Monica Ritchey, who was armed with and already fired a firearm numerous times. Attempted de-escalation of the situation with Ms. Ritchey, was not successful and the incident resulted in the shooting death of Monica Ritchey and the wounding of her daughter Darcie Latham.
Pursuant to the Officer Involved Shooting protocol, after completion of the investigation, this matter was turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review. On August 26, 2014, District Attorney Gammick rendered his opinion that “the shooting death of Monica Ritchey by Officer Simpson and Sgt. Keating was justifiable under all applicable laws.” D.A. Gammick further states that “the wounding of Darcie Latham by Officer Mowbray was also justifiable…”
Initial reports indicated Darcie Latham was shot by her mother Monica Ritchey. However, as preliminary interviews took place, it was learned by investigators that a Sparks Police Department officer shot Mrs. Latham in the upper leg region, as she was then evacuated by the officers and transported to Renown Medical Center by REMSA. Within 48 hours of the incident, I, along with other members of our staff, met with Mrs. Latham while she was still in the hospital. During that conversation, I advised Mrs. Latham she was shot by an officer of the Sparks Police Department, not her mother.
I empathize with the Ritchey and Latham families. It is tragic that Monica Ritchey believed her only course of conduct that day was to arm herself, discharge the firearm while in and outside of her residence and eventually aim the firearm at responding officers. The loss of a loved one is difficult under any circumstance.
To be involved in a shooting is never the officer’s desired outcome particularly when responding to these types of calls. The responding officers’ intent was to provide assistance to Mrs. Latham’s request for help and to protect the community as a whole. These types of events are very dynamic, evolving and ever changing. Officers are required to make split second decisions based on these ever changing circumstances. The investigation shows that Sgt. Keating’s and Officers Mowbray and Simpson’s actions were of pure intent and justified by applicable laws.
I would like to thank the Reno Police Department for being the lead investigatory agency into the Officer Involved Shooting. Though these investigations take time, the full set of facts and circumstances regarding this incident are presented in Reno Police Department case 13-20296. The Regional Officer Involved Shooting Protocol has again shown that having a non-involved law enforcement agency investigate the incident to be the best way to have an impartial, thorough and complete investigation that provides the transparency of these incidents to the public.
I will not be taking questions at this time. I am not able to further discuss this incident based on my legal requirements and the potential civil law suit. With that, the full details are contained in the final Reno Police Department report and District Attorney Gammick’s decision and those documents speak for themselves.
Releasing Authority: Allen, Brian
Chief of Police
Media release – Initial
On October 13, 2013, the Sparks Police Department responded to 1506 Woodhaven Drive on a report of an armed suicidal female. The result of this incident was the implementation of the Officer Involved Shooting protocol based on the shooting death of Monica Ritchey and the wounding of Darcie Latham.
The Sparks Police Department will hold a Press Conference, today, Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. in the Sparks Police Department’s Training Room to notify the media of the most recent developments in this case.
The purpose of the media release is to provide information regarding the Press Conference only. Please do not contact the Sparks Police Department or other agencies for further information until the 2:30 p.m. Press Conference.
We are working a 2 vehicle accident at the above intersection. Please try to avoid the area and take an alternate route. Thank you.
For Media Use Only:
The Sparks Police Department has incorporated the use of a "Media Phone".
This cell phone is carried by the watch commander or shift supervisor during each patrol shift. The purpose of this phone is to streamline requests for information involving patrol related media inquiries. Please limit the use of this phone to media requests for information only. Every effort will be made to answer the phone when called or call back in a timely way.
The watch commander or shift supervisor will not be able to assist with questions regarding longer term investigations. Requests for information for on-going investigations should continue through detectives and Lieutenant Triplett.
The "Media Phone" phone number is 775-354-7267. Texting is also enabled.
On August 25, 2014 at about 7:50 p.m., Sparks Police officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired in the 1000 block of G St.
As officers were en route, there were conflicting reports of a suspect vehicle leaving the area, and a possible victim being transported by private car from the area. When officers arrived, they learned that one male victim had been shot at least once, and had been transported by private car to the hospital. That victim showed up at Northern Nevada Medical Center. He was later transferred to Renown Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Officers also located a second shooting victim who was still on scene. That victim was also a male, and he was transported by REMSA to Renown Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The only information about a possible suspect vehicle is a report of a light green vehicle, possibly a Ford Focus, leaving the area immediately after the shooting.
The Regional Gang Unit was on scene and did assist. It has not been determined if the shooting is gang related, and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Sparks Police Detectives at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
On August 21st, 2014 at approximately 1923 hours, the Sparks Police Department met with the victim of Domestic Violence, who with her 5 year old child had been held against her will and battered. During the investigation Officers learned the victim met with her ex-boyfriend, Joaquin Acuna to exchange their 5 year old child. During this encounter an argument ensued which upset the 5 year old. Acuna left with the 5 year old and the victim, concerned for her child, followed Acuna to a storage facility in the 500 block of El Rancho. While at this location, Acuna's anger escalated and he forced his way into the victim's vehicle, now occupied by the 5 year old.
Acuna forced the victim to drive from the area. While driving he slammed her head into the steering wheel and bit her in the back of the neck. Acuna forced the victim to take him back to the storage facility and once there took her keys from her. While at the storage unit, Acuna put a rope around his neck and tried to hang himself in front of the victim and their 5 year old child. Acuna was unsuccessful and kicked the victim in the groin area and broke her cell phone.
The victim was able to get her keys and once she got in her car to leave, Acuna rammed her vehicle with his. She was able to flee the area and get help.
Acuna, a 27 year old, Reno resident was located at his residence and arrested. Acuna was charged with False Imprisonment, Domestic Battery, and Child Endangerment. He is being held on $25,000 bail.
There is no further information to be released at this time.
On 8/22/14 at approximately 0038 hours the Sparks Police Department responded to a report of a female being followed by her ex-boyfriend, Jordan Phelps, a 24 year old Reno resident. While the victim was trying to drive away from Phelps. Phelps followed her in his vehicle, a 2002 Dodge Truck, NV 209LRG. Phelps began to ram the victim vehicle with his vehicle and was trying to run her off the road. This was witnessed by an SPD officer in the area. As SPD officers approached Phelps, he fled erratically in his vehicle. The victim was located and taken to a secure area. Phelps eluded pursuing officers throughout Sparks. His vehicle was located near El Rancho and Wedekind where he fled on foot. A foot search of the area was unsuccessful in locating him. Phelps' vehicle was towed from the scene.
A few hours later, Phelps was seen in a cab near the Golden Valley exit. A traffic stop was attempted and Phelps got out of the cab before it came to a stop. He fled the area on foot and is believed to be heading to his residence in the North Valley's.
The Sparks Police Department is actively searching for Phelps for Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Eluding a Police Officer. Please call secret witness or the Sparks Police Department with any information on Phelps' whereabouts.
There is nothing further to release at this time. Thank you.
On August 21, 2014 at approximately 4:00 a.m., Sparks Police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a motel guest shooting from his room. Several marked patrol officers arrived and the subject continued to shoot multiple rounds in the parking lot. Officers attempted to negotiate with the subject, but the subject refused to comply. The subject fired rounds from several different weapons and officers could hear him reloading. The subject continued to fire additional rounds.
A Sparks Police Officer fired one round at the subject. The round did not hit the subject; however, the subject surrendered. The subject was transported to the hospital for evaluation and for treatment for minor cuts from broken glass.
Sparks detectives are still in the process of identifying the subject. No officers or motel guests were injured. SPD detectives continue to investigate this incident.
SPD will release further details as they are known. Detectives request that all further media inquires be postponed until additional facts can be gathered from the scene and from additional witnesses. A press conference will be held today at the Sparks Police Department at 1:00 p.m.
Sparks Police are currently working a traffic accident involving a pedestrian at 9th and C Street in Sparks. We received the call at 3:02am, and on arrival found the pedestrian unresponsive in the street just east of the intersection, and the driver of the vehicle that struck her on scene. It appears the female was crossing 9th Street at C Street northbound in the crosswalk, when the vehicle, which was travelling east on C Street, hit her. The vehicle was a 1990 GMC Van, and the driver said he did not see the pedestrian before hitting her. The victim, a 49 year old Sparks resident, was transported to Renown with serious head injuries, where she is currently on life support. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor with the driver of the van, and it is too early in the investigation to know if any charges will be issued in this accident. At this time there is no further information.
Lt. Chad Hawkins
On 8/13/14, Sparks Police Detectives arrested Justin Ray Helleson for two bank robberies that were committed in the city of Sparks. On July 14 at 1654 hours, the US Bank inside Raleys at 2389 Wingfield Hills Dr. was robbed. On August 1st, at 1718 the US Bank inside the Safeway at 2858 Vista Blvd. was robbed. Reno Police And Sparks Police Detectives developed information that Helleson had committed the robberies and placed him under surveillance.
On 8/13/14, Reno and Sparks Police Detectives followed Helleson to the Wal-Mart on E. 2nd St. After a short period of time Helleson left the Wal-Mart on foot and began walking eastbound toward Glendale Ave. Helleson was contacted and placed under arrest. Helleson was later booked into the Washoe County Jail on two counts of Robbery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon.
On July 11, 2014, Sparks Police Detectives began investigating a sexual assault case involving a 12 year old juvenile Sparks resident. Investigators learned that the juvenile had begun speaking with the 44 year old suspect, Matthew BURR, through social media, namely an application known as "Whisper". BURR offered the juvenile money to "hang out".
BURR is a long haul truck driver based out of Utah. BURR made deliveries to several local businesses. BURR subsequently convinced the juvenile to sneak out of her home in the middle of the night and accompany him while he made his deliveries. This occured on at least two different occasions. During one of the incidents BURR paid the juvenlie in exchange for sex. BURR photographed the juvenile while engaged in these sexual acts.
As the investigation progressed, SPD detectives posed as the juvenile and continued communication with BURR. It was clear that BURR knew the juvenile was underage and that BURR had sexual intentions. BURR arranged to meet with the juvenile again, but instead was greeted by detectives. BURR had purchased several gifts believing it was the juveniles birthday. One of the gifts was sexual in nature.
On August 13, 2014, BURR was interviewed at the Sparks Police Department. BURR was subsequently arrested and booked at the Washoe County Jail. SPD detectives completed a forensic examination of BURR's cell phone. Naked images of the juvenile were located. Detectives also located other images not of this juvenile. The investigation continues in an effort to locate any other potential victims. BURR has been a commercial truck driver for several years. He may have met people through social media in several different states. SPD Detectives have been working with Utah investigators and the FBI.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Sparks Police Department Detective Division at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
The Sparks Police Department's Detective Division understands that there is a desire to know details about this case. At this time this case is still under investigation and as soon as we can release details, we will be sending another press release.
Per City of Sparks Public Works, the intersection of El Rancho and Oddie will be on "red flash" and down to one lane of traffic on all directions until Monday or Tuesday of next week as a result of a traffic accident.
Be advised that there is road construction occuring on E. Prater Wy today between Vista Bl and Sparks Bl. Expect delays if you use this route, so please use alternate routes. Thank you.
The Sparks Police Department is asking for help in locating a missing person who was last belived to be in downtown Reno, possibly at the Regional Transportation Commission bus station, as of approximately 8 a.m. today.
The subject is Stephen Gillespie, a 61 year old white male. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap with "Team USA" on the front, a white t-shirt with a US Food Service logo and gray corderoy pants. Gillespie is 5'8" tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. A photo of Gillespie is attached to this media release.
Officers had been called to the 500 block of Sparks Blvd. at approximately 1:45 a.m. on a possibly intoxicated subject. Mr. Gillespie was transported to the Westcare facility in downtown Reno. He was released from there at approximately 8 a.m. He was believed to be headed to the RTC bus station at that time.
Gillespie may seem as though he has dementia as he has a previous head injury. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the Sparks Police Department dispatch center at 353-2231 or Sparks Police Detectives at 353-2225.
Mr. Gillespie has been located in good condition in downtown Reno as of about 11:45 p.m. on the evening of August 13.