Police: Enge assault case closed as unfounded
November 28, 2007
An assault case filed with the Carson City Sheriff’s Department by Joe Enge in September has been closed as “unfounded,” according to police records.
Detective Bob Motamenpour said in his report that after subpoenaing the surveillance footage from the Carson Nugget and spending 16 hours reviewing the images, he was unable to find Enge on the recordings, nor could he find anyone who matched Enge’s description of the assailant.
“Based on the lack of evidence and corroborating statements, I am unable to prove or disprove the victim’s claim,” Motamenpour wrote.
On Sept. 23, Carson City School Board Member Enge, and now the appointed deputy director of the Governor’s Energy Office, reported that he’d been struck in the face and shoved to the ground inside the bathroom on the second-story of the Nugget outside the now-defunct Club Vu, about 1 a.m.
Motamenpour said he watched surveillance video captured of the main lobby of Club Vu as well as the stairwell leading to the club between the hours of 9:45 p.m. and 4 a.m. on the night of the alleged assault.
“I couldn’t locate him and I could not locate any suspects that matched the descriptions he’d given me during the same timeline that he told me. I even went back two hours prior and two hours after and I still couldn’t see anything,” said Motamenpour. “He even watched the video with me and he couldn’t find himself.”
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Nugget General Manager Brian Smith said that Enge is no longer allowed in the casino.
“He is not welcome in the Nugget for making false accusations. I knew he fabricated a story. I watched the tapes. Bob watched them. There was no incident. It was all a fabricated lie,” Smith said.
Enge said was shocked by Smith’s statement, and the fact that the case had been closed.
“My finger is still crooked from that incident,” he said noting the injury to his finger came when the assailant stomped on his hand.
Enge said Wednesday that he was also unable to find himself or his assailant on the footage, but that the incident did happen.
“I still have the scars. I can’t believe I was physically assaulted and then they blame the victim and say it’s unfounded,” he said.
Last week, a hit-and-run citation issued to Enge after he ran down a neighbor’s fence and then drove home was reduced to a speeding citation when Enge entered a plea of not-guilty.
Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner said when a person contests traffic citations, they enter a not guilty plea, which indicates the defendant wishes to speak to the prosecutor about the case.
Since there was no independent witness who could put Enge behind the wheel of the car, and despite Enge’s own admission to having been the driver, the deputy district attorney handling the case offered Enge a plea to speeding, said Gardner.
The plea included a reduction of demerit points from 6 to 4, dismissal of the $500 fine, and an agreement on Enge’s part to attend a Victim Impact Panel, which is generally a requirement for a drunk-driving conviction. Enge also is responsible for the repairs to his neighbor’s fence.
“This was handled exactly like any other case would have been handled in the same circumstances,” said Gardner.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.
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