Police continue to investigate man's death

GARDNERVILLE -- Sheriff's deputies were releasing few details Monday regarding the death of a Gardnerville man over the weekend.

"Investigators are out there right now, and I don't want to say anything that would dissuade witnesses or taint anyone else's ideas and change their minds," said Lt. Mike Biaggini of the Douglas County Sheriff's Department. "When we talk to a witness, we want it to be as sterile as possible."

Edward Martinez, 41, died about 11:20 a.m. Sunday at Washoe Medical Center after Sharkey's Casino employees found him leaning against a slot machine bleeding from his mouth and nose.

Biaggini, who said Martinez had had an argument inside the casino, refused to say whether the investigation points to one attacker.

"We are still in the process of putting the case together. The investigation is continuing, and it's going to be referred to the District Attorney's Office," he said. "I'd prefer not to go into the particulars."

Bernie Curtis, spokesman for Holder Hospitality Group, which owns Sharkey's, said there was no fight inside the casino, and if words were exchanged between Martinez and anyone, they didn't attract the attention of patrons or security guards.

"No incident occurred inside the premises here," Curtis said. "We had no bar fights that spilled out on (Highway) 395."

He said when employees found the injured Martinez about 2 a.m., they called 911 and attempted to help him.

Martinez refused medical attention and would not talk with police, Biaggini said.

"He was not cooperative with our officers," Biaggini said. He said Martinez did not want to tell deputies what the fight was about or how many people were involved.

"Our officers summoned paramedics there, and the paramedics advised (Martinez) at least a half dozen times or more he should go to the hospital, but he absolutely refused to go or even let them attend to him," Biaggini said.

A pool of blood was found a half block north of the casino. A trail of blood leads to the doors of Sharkey's, Curtis said.

Biaggini said Martinez was released to his family, who later forced him to go to Barton Medical Center. He then was taken by Care Flight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center.

The results of an autopsy performed by the Washoe County Coroner's Office were not released Monday.


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