By Karl Moffatt
Las Vegas Optic
A bystander spent a night in jail for failing to back off when told to by Las Vegas police at a crime scene where a suspect was being taken into custody following a shooting, according to court records.
Timothy Nixon, 49, was charged last week with obstructing police after he allegedly failed to obey repeated commands to leave a crime scene on the 2400 block of North Gonzales, where police were investigating a shooting, according to court records.
Nixon was inside the perimeter of the crime scene taking pictures and declined to leave when asked repeatedly by an officer, according to Lt. Martin Salazar’s probable cause statement filed in the case.
While refusing to leave Nixon reportedly argued that the “public had a right to know” what the officers were doing and that he was going to report what was going on to the chief of police.
Nixon was arrested after ignoring repeated commands to leave, according to court records in the case.
The court records do not state whether yellow tape had been deployed to mark off the crime scene.
Nixon spent the night of May 30 in the San Miguel Detention Center and was later released after posting $2,000 cash bond with the San Miguel County Magistrate Court, according to court records.
Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said the public is not prohibited from taking pictures or observing police in action but that officer safety and the preservation of evidence are a priority at crime scenes.
“I would like to emphatically state that it is dangerous for officers on scene and to the public when we have deal with outside factors,” Montaño said in a written statement to the Optic. “This takes our focus off the priorities.”
Montaño added that the general public usually works well with police at crime scenes.
Police also took into custody on the 2400 block of Gonzales, Lucas Duran, 24, and charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, negligent use of a deadly weapon and aggravated assault after he allegedly fired a rifle at a passing car and then aimed it at a neighbor who was watching him, according to court records.
Duran was apparently highly intoxicated when taken into custody, and no one was reported injured in the shooting.
Duran remains jailed in lieu of $20,000 cash bond awaiting further court proceedings.