Assemblyman Steven Brooks says cops attacked him during arrest
LAS VEGAS – A troubled Nevada state lawmaker alleged Monday that police attacked him after his wife called 911 from a neighbor’s house to report a domestic disturbance during the weekend.
“I showed them my Assemblyman badge. They told me to get on the ground,” Steven Brooks said during a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press. “They tried to kill me.”
Brooks was arrested a little after 12:30 a.m. Sunday on misdemeanor domestic battery and obstructing an officer charges that could get him up to two years in jail. He later was freed from the Clark County jail on $4,000 bail. Charges weren’t immediately filed. Brooks is due to face a judge April 11.
His attorney, Mitchell Posin, said Brooks plans to plead not guilty and fight the charges “and any other charges that may arise.”
The incident was the latest in a series of sometimes bizarre public acts that have unfolded since Brooks, 40, was arrested Jan. 19 on a felony allegation that he threatened Assembly Democratic Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick in North Las Vegas.
Last week, the Democrat from North Las Vegas announced he would take a three-week leave from the Legislature.
The move came after Assembly Democrats expelled Brooks from his party caucus and the full Assembly convened a bipartisan panel to determine if he is fit to serve in his elected position.
In separate interviews, Posin and Brooks said Brooks had been scheduled to undergo surgery Monday for a leg ailment. They did not provide specifics, but Posin said the medical procedure was neither psychological nor psychiatric in nature. Brooks said the procedure was postponed due to his weekend jail stay.
In an arrest report made public Monday, police allege Brooks threw punches and at one point grabbed at an officer’s gun as they scuffled in a driveway outside his wife’s northwest Las Vegas home.
Brooks and his wife, Ada, are estranged after 13 years of marriage. Brooks told the AP they spent Saturday evening together.
Phone numbers for Ada Brooks were disconnected, and efforts to reach her Monday weren’t immediately successful.
Ada Brooks told police that Steven Brooks arrived unexpectedly at her house, said he wanted to retrieve his television and other belongings before heading to Carson City, then began yelling at her and physically restraining her by grabbing her hair on both sides of her head.
Police said Ada Brooks had a cut lip that she said she may have gotten when Steven Brooks pushed her face against a kitchen counter.
The couple also spent time together upstairs in the house before Ada Brooks ran out the door to a neighbor’s house to summon police.
Officers found Brooks in the driveway, allegedly refusing to remove his hands from his pockets and resisting efforts to arrest him.
In his phone interview with the AP, which lasted less than three minutes, Brooks didn’t answer a question about whether he tried to take an officer’s gun. He pleaded for someone to help him, then hung up. He didn’t accept a follow-up telephone call.
Brooks told the AP that neighbors witnessed the scuffle before he was handcuffed and arrested.
Police said Brooks declared that he had the officer’s gun, but the report wasn’t clear about whether Brooks actually got his hands on an officer’s weapon. Two officers were able to wrestle both of Brooks’ arms behind him.
Officer Laura Meltzer, a Las Vegas police spokeswoman, said details about the case would have to emerge in court.
The arrest came with Brooks free on $100,000 bail on the Kirkpatrick threat allegations. In that case, police said they began looking for Brooks after being told he was angry with Kirkpatrick and was driving around North Las Vegas with a gun and ammunition in a shoebox in his car a little more than two weeks before the Legislature convened. Charges haven’t been filed, and Brooks has denied wrongdoing.
The prosecutor in that case, Deputy Nevada Attorney General Thom Gover, said Monday he was reviewing the North Las Vegas police investigation.
On Jan. 25, five days after posting bail in the threat case, Brooks was detained and hospitalized for five days for a mental evaluation. Las Vegas police reported summoning medical personnel after officers responded to a disturbance at Brooks’ grandmother’s house that officials say involved a sword. No injuries were reported.