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April 23, 2014

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Brooks arrested in California after police chase

Police use dog, Taser to subdue former Nevada assemblyman

Image

Jennifer Simpson / AP

Ex-Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks, middle right, who led police on a chase from Barstow, Calif., until his tires were spiked in Victorville, Calif., is apprehended by police, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Victorville, Calif. Brooks was arrested on charges including resisting arrest and throwing objects, just hours after he became the first lawmaker ever expelled from the Nevada Legislature.

Updated Friday, March 29, 2013 | 2:52 p.m.

AP video on Brooks' arrest

Calif. officials talks about the arrest

Brooks arrested in California

Ex-Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks, holds his arms up as he is arrested, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Victorville, Calif. Brooks led police on a chase from Barstow, Calif., until his tires were spiked in Victorville, Calif. Brooks was arrested on charges including resisting arrest and throwing objects, just hours after he became the first lawmaker ever expelled from the Nevada Legislature. Launch slideshow »

Warning: This video, which apparently shows the arrest of former Assemblyman Steven Brooks, contains offensive language.

Assemblyman Steven Brooks - Feb. 7, 2013

Assemblyman Steven Brooks hugs Assemblyman Pat Hickey before a meeting Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 during the 2013 legislative session in Carson City. Launch slideshow »

On the night he was expelled from the Nevada Legislature, former Assemblyman Steven Brooks was arrested after leading police on a chase near Barstow, Calif., and being brought down by a Taser and police dog.

According to a Barstow Police Department statement, officers responded to a call at 6:11 p.m. of an argument between a tow truck driver and a motorist.

When officers arrived, they identified Brooks as the motorist, police said. The tow truck driver claimed Brooks, who had a flat tire, was attempting to scam him, because he reportedly refused to provide identification or a form of payment to the tow truck driver, police said.

Brooks walked away from an officer who was questioning him and headed for his vehicle, despite the officer’s orders to stop, police said. Brooks got into the vehicle and sped off on the damaged tire, police said.

Officers pursued Brooks south on Interstate 15 as he weaved in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed, with sparks and smoke coming from the flat tire, according to the police statement.

During the chase, Brooks threw a "number of metal objects" out of his window, police said. Citing CHP officials, the Victorville Daily Press reported that one of the objects was a handgun.

CHP and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office were contacted for support, and troopers used a spike strip to disable the vehicle and stop it just north of Stoddard Wells Road on I-15.

“Eventually, Brooks exited his vehicle but was acting irrational and was still refusing to comply with officers’ orders,” the Barstow Police statement said.

A Barstow Police officer deployed a police dog to apprehend Brooks, who ran back into his car, police said. The dog jumped through the back window of the car and “began to subdue” Brooks, police said. Brooks choked the dog and hit it with a socket wrench, causing lacerations above the animal’s eye and on its leg.

Officers then pulled Brooks out of the vehicle, using a Taser to subdue him, police said.

Medics responded and tended to Brooks’ injuries. He was transported to Barstow Community Hospital for an exam before being booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

The police dog was treated by a veterinarian for his injuries and was released.

Brooks was arrested on counts of eluding law enforcement while driving recklessly, resisting or impeding a law enforcement officer, throwing objects at a vehicle with the intent to do harm and injuring or attempting to injure a dog or horse used by law enforcement, according to San Bernardino County online inmate records.

He was being held on $100,000 bail. An initial court appearance was set for Tuesday in Barstow Superior Court, records show.

Reached by phone, the Barstow Police Department declined Friday to release Brooks’ booking photo and would not make any officers available for comment or provide additional details not contained in the department’s news release.

Brooks' attorney, Mitchell Posin, said he had no details about the arrest or about why Brooks was on the interstate in Barstow.

"We had started to discuss possible next steps," Posin said Friday, referring to his client's expulsion from the Legislature. "Next thing I know, I heard about this."

A witness, 30-year-old Jennifer Simpson, said she was alerted by police helicopters overhead and saw a red four-door SUV hit what appeared to be spike strips on the freeway and veer to the side of the road.

The driver got out of the vehicle but didn't follow police commands to turn around and put his hands in the air, said Simpson, who lives in an apartment near the interstate in Victorville. The man ran back toward the SUV, chased by a police dog, she said.

Simpson said the driver shut himself in the vehicle before several officers with guns drawn pulled him out. She said she saw at least one officer punch the man several times.

Simpson's husband videotaped the last four minutes of the struggle, in which uniformed officers wrestle the driver to the ground in front of the vehicle and an officer in a tan uniform raises his arms three times in apparent punching motions. The man cannot be seen on the ground.

In another video posted to YouTube, CHP Sergeant Chris Dalin is interviewed about the incident, and Brooks can be seen on a stretcher talking with police.

“Initially he got out of the vehicle and was somewhat cooperative, but then he refused to obey commands,” Dalin said of Brooks.

When the Barstow Police Department released its dog, Brooks was able to get back into his car. A CHP officer then shot out the back window of the SUV with a beanbag shotgun.

Dalin said Brooks resisted while officers tried to put handcuffs on him and started to break away when the Taser was applied.

“It was successful. Down he went to the ground. After a short struggle he was placed in handcuffs,” Dalin says in the video.

Kris Reilly, city editor of The Daily Press in Victorville, said he heard police scanner reports of the chase and arrived at the scene with a photographer to see a man in dark clothing on a hospital gurney. He said the man was struggling against wrist and ankle restraints as he was loaded into an ambulance.

"He was yelling something to the effect that, 'These cops are going down!'" Reilly said. "He was yelling quite a bit."

The police account released Friday doesn't address whether any officers punched Brooks.

The Nevada Assembly voted Thursday morning to oust Brooks, after Assembly Majority Leader William Horne called him "potentially dangerous" and said lawmakers didn't feel safe with him in the building.

"This really saddens me," Horne said Friday, after learning of the arrest. "I hope they get Steven the help he clearly needs before he or someone else is hurt or worse."

This is the third time the North Las Vegas Democrat has been arrested since January. He's accused of making threats toward his colleagues, including Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

Brooks also was denied the purchase of a gun in Sparks last month after he was banished from the chambers. Posin said there's been a misunderstanding and Brooks doesn't pose any real threat to anyone.

Brooks won re-election in November by a 2-1 margin over an unknown challenger.

Horne said Thursday that Brooks' unpredictable behavior — which included missing meetings, calling news conferences he never showed up for and posing shirtless for a Las Vegas newspaper — had made the session look "more like a circus and daytime drama than a serious legislative body."

It was the first time the Legislature initiated the expulsion of a member since a lawmaker was accused of libeling other members in 1867, although that case never came to a formal vote.

Sun reporter Anjeanette Damon and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  1. Is there another photo? Because the one linked to in the story from Victorville barely shows a side profile of some guy screaming, and it's from a distance away.

  2. The Nevada State Legislature made an unfortunate, but proper decision. Brook's behavior is escalating, and he is NOT responding to the support of those around him, which is breaking himself loose of their responsibility circle leading to his own volition of acting out, which is becoming more dangerous to himself and others around him.

    Sad to see, but at this point, only intensive mental health assistance will help him turn to more positive behaviors. I pray he seeks and heeds such help, and for the safety of all involved.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  3. Here is the beat down by California's finest.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jIcaGF7Z...

  4. Booking # 1303343296.

    Bail has been set at $100,000

    Charges:

    VC2800.2(A)
    PC69
    VC23110(B)
    PC600(A)

  5. he takes a few punches on video there. His lawyer is going to love that.

  6. Maybe Brooks has a better shot at getting mental health treatment in California.

  7. Total nut case, clearly mentally ill, now a millionaire many times over thanks to the California Cops LOL

  8. So he was denied the purchase of a gun a month ago, but had one with him yesterday....kind of proves the point that gun control laws are basically worthless.

    Throwing the gun from the vehicle was probably a smart move, so the cops would not have an excuse to shoot him.

    From the video it looks like the cops roughed him up pretty good anyway.

  9. I hope the dog makes a full recovery.

  10. The comments on the video were inflammatory and exaggerated. There is no doubt that the situation was stressful for all concerned and there was a pressing need to get Mr Brooks under control. He had been armed and was uncooperative. It appeared that the police used restraint and only as much force as needed to bring the incident to a conclusion.

  11. I'm not a police apologist, but if he hit my partner with a socket wrench I'd beat the daylight out of him.

  12. Brooks is one lucky guy. If this had happened in the Las Vegas Valley he would have been shot by Metro.

  13. "Delahunty and Heretic. Go ahead and name a law that stops 100% of the crime?"

    A: The death penalty.

  14. It's obvious That Mr. Brooks is crying out for help and this very could have been an attempt to end his cry's "Suicide by Cop"

    And for what I seen in the youtube video is normal Felony take down procedures, This in no way was a "Beatdown" Had other officers joined in the beating then yeah you could call it that.

    To the person or persons making the racial comment on the video. You are weak minded!

    @Delahunty that's a penalty for crimes committed.

  15. "...it is confirmed that former Assemblyman Steven Brooks assaulted and injured a police dog. By law, that is the same as assaulting a human police officer."

    BChap -- this article basically says the dog assaulted Brooks. Evidently you don't believe in self-defense. Resist joining the usual lynch mob, Brad!

    Although perhaps acting irrational, the event triggering the usual police over-response was a disagreement over payment for services, not a crime.

    ". . .the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" -- the late President Ronald Reagan on YouTube @ http://youtu.be/xhYJS80MgYA

  16. @Truthserum
    Your a victim of Fallacy of Composition, All Democrats are not like this nor all Republicans like Larry Craig.

  17. All because the man can't change a tire, this happens. Another gun, and hey, read other accounts, Jennifer says she watched as Brooks fought the arrest, and should have been hit 3 times. (If he would have been on the Nevada side of the line, could have been 3rd strike and you are out..or 4th.

  18. Clearly, Brooks needs to be locked up and under 72 hour observation. If Nevada can't bring itself to do this, California sure as hell will.

    This man's behavior continues to escalate, becoming more irrational, and more dangerous. He can now be classified as a danger to himself and others based on this incident alone.

    While Brooks is in custody, he will spend his time with ideations, which will further get him all worked up. Wonder WHO (other than his attorney) is going to step up to the plate and be at his side while he confronts all his demons and gets medical/mental health help? What's in it for them?

    This is all so very sad a situation, but our society has evolved into one that makes a distance away from those in need, rather than taking responsibility and reaching towards them and helping them.

    There is no law against being crazy or stupid (up until one "is a danger to themselves or others". Welcome to America!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  19. "If he would have been on the Nevada side of the line, could have been 3rd strike and you are out..or 4th."

    Darn the luck!

    Now, we'll have to listen the bleeding hearts and the media tell us how abused this jerk is. I watched the film...he deserved everything he got and more.

  20. I commented the other day when he was kicked out of the circus up north, "now you've done it , let the races begin". I had no idea it was going to be race on I -15. Get that man some help because he will kill someone in the end.

  21. Mr Brooks can claim both ignorance and harassment as operating a vehicle on the road with a flat tire is Standard Operating Procedure" in Southern Nevada where Mr Brooks is from, law enforcement artists have perfected the act of destroying a $50K swat vehicle by driving on a flat tire until a fire ensued with no arrests or drug/alcohol testing and the driver even received a paid vacation as a reward.

    Until a competent court with jurisdiction convicts for any and or all charges against Mr Brooks" he is only guilty as charged in the media thus far"