Businessman disputes claim he that was fighting deputy during fire | NevadaAppeal.com

Businessman disputes claim he that was fighting deputy during fire

by F.T. Norton

A Carson City businessman arrested Friday for allegedly running a barricade into Lakeview homes and resisting arrest during the Waterfall fire, said there was no roadblock, and the deputy’s treatment of him was unjust.

Allan Fiegehen, 69, part owner of the Ormsby House, Glen Eagles Restaurant and Cubix Corp., said he spent Thursday evening side by side with firefighters battling the blaze that threatened his Weise Road home.

About 10 p.m., Fiegehen joined his wife, Kris, in the Glen Eagles parking lot, where they spent the night in their motor home.

Friday morning, he said, he was anxious to know if his home had survived the night, and he, his wife and 12-year-old dog headed up Coombs Canyon Road.

Somewhere near Timberline Road, Fiegehen said, he saw a patrol car pulled off to the side of the road, but didn’t consider it to be blocking passage so he drove on.

“I just wanted to get to my house,” he said Tuesday from his restaurant. “My thought was to just get there and make sure everything was OK.”

About half way there, Fiegehen saw the deputy in his patrol car behind him, lights and sirens on. He admits he did not pull over.

“I figured I’ll get up to the house and deal with him up there,” he said.

Once in his driveway, Fiegehen said, he got out of his car then Deputy Matt Putzer ordered him to stop and put his hands on his head.

“He just came racing over to me,” he said. “And I said ‘Please, I just want to check on my house.'”

He said the deputy grabbed his hand and tried to handcuff him.

The struggle that ensued, Fiegehen said, was his resistance of the handcuffs and attempt to reason with Putzer.

“(Putzer) grabbed the back of my head and smashed it into the car,” he recalled. Fiegehen suffered a cut to his forehead.

He said he wasn’t fighting with the deputy when Putzer shoved him to the ground, put a knee into his back, and sprayed him with pepper spray into his eyes.

At some point, Fiegehen recalls, his wife, Kris, yelled at the deputy to stop. Then Sidney the dog jumped out of the vehicle and bit the deputy on his calf.

“Sidney sees me getting beat up, and bites him,” Fiegehen explained.

Fiegehen said he never expected to be physically confronted by the deputy.

“I thought I’d get a tongue lashing and a ticket,” he said. “It was the furthest thing from my mind that he was going to attack me.”

Fiegehen’s attorney and friend Bob Grayson said he hopes with time officials will see the situation for what it was – a man concerned about his home and not a criminal.

“The emotions of everyone – firefighters, police officers, home owners – were running so high that I’m just hoping in hindsight they’ll look at this with calmer heads.”

Fiegehen, who claims to have never been arrested, let alone handcuffed, said he was stunned by the situation.

“Never in my life have I been treated like that,” he said. “You can’t have cops like that. How can the city allow that?”

Sheriff Kenny Furlong said his office does receive complaints from the community.

“The undersheriff evaluates the complaint and makes a determination whether or not a formal investigation needs to take place,” he said. “If we were to receive a complaint from Mr. Fiegehen, we would give it the same consideration we give everyone else.

“I do feel for everyone’s losses in the community. I am equally sympathetic to all of the residents who were not aware of the status of their homes, but we had to maintain an order, one that allows the safety of the residents and the firefighters, and allows those firefighters to continue to fight the range fire that was destroying homes.”

Fiegehen said he wasn’t sure when or if he would file a complaint, but wants his side heard.

“I wasn’t thinking I was above the law; I wasn’t thinking anything other than getting to my house,” he said.

“The irony of it,” Grayson added, “was if (Fiegehen) had been 15 minutes later deciding to go to his house, he would have gotten through.”

Shortly after the pursuit ended, roadblocks were lifted.

Fiegehen was booked into the jail on misdemeanor charges and released on his own recognizance.