Diabetic shooter involved in hit and run
November 12, 2008
A diabetic man ” who in September allegedly fired bullets into his ceiling, injuring his sleeping neighbor ” was involved in a hit-and-run accident Wednesday afternoon.
Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Sal Acosta said he cited Richard Lanave, 70, on suspicion of hit-and-run with property damage, failure to notify police immediately following an accident, failure to drive within marked lanes and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
Witnesses reported at 12:52 p.m. that a gold SUV with California plates had struck a car at the corner of Division and Fifth streets.
After the accident, the SUV reportedly backed up, then drove east on Fifth Street. Deputies were unable to locate it.
At 1:38 p.m., a woman reported she was following a gold SUV that was “all over the roadway, unable to maintain (lane),” according to dispatch records.
The woman followed the SUV from Little Lane until deputies arrived on Koontz Lane and found Lanave behind the wheel.
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Acosta said Lanave appeared to be impaired by something, but a breath test found no alcohol in his system.
When paramedics tested Lanave’s blood sugar, they found that was normal as well.
“He had dry mouth and pinpoint pupils, so he may be under the influence of some medication,” said Acosta.
The deputy said Lanave admitted he’d hit another vehicle.
“He tells me that he knows he hit the car and leaves,” Acosta said. “He said he thought he just tapped it.”
The impact severely damaged the parked vehicle and left a large dent in the underside of Lanave’s front bumper.
Acosta found a half-empty 200 ml bottle of Skyy vodka underneath the SUV’s passenger seat.
Lanave was taken by ambulance to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, where his blood was drawn for testing.
Depending on the results of the blood test, Lanave could additionally be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, even if the substance was prescribed by a doctor and being taken in accordance with the prescription, said Acosta.
Lanave had only been in Carson City for about a month when, on Sept. 30, the former attorney and Navy veteran awoke on the floor of his Imperial Way apartment suffering from near-fatal low blood sugar.
Unable to crawl to the phone in another room, Lanave pulled a handgun from his night stand and fired shots into his ceiling, investigators said.
The bullets penetrated the floor and bed of young couple upstairs, striking the man in his ankle and grazing his thigh.
A 90-minute standoff ended after Lanave mustered the strength to crawl out of his apartment, according to investigators.
Reports indicate that he was unaware he’d hit anyone, and he thought the police were there to rescue him.
Lanave was arrested on 28 counts of discharging a firearm and posted bail on the condition he move from the complex and stay away from the victims.
At the time, the District Attorney’s Office expressed that they would likely only charge Lanave with one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure if it was found that incident stemmed from low blood sugar.
A hearing in that case is scheduled for Nov. 18.
Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.