It was around 2:30 on Friday afternoon and I had just gotten back from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alta where I went to file a police report for a death threat on my life and a theft report, but instead of going to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to register my “Classic” Mercedes, I made the mistake of going home early and leaving the DMV issue until Saturday when I would be a little less tired. WRONG!!
A very jealous police officer, B.Foster, badge number 16314, was driving opposite to me, but he was “able to see” that my license plate was expired so he followed me through the parking lot from my newspaper office to the Radio-Tribune office and turned his light on.
By the time he turned the light on his patrol car there were three more patrol cars with lights on and guns drawn like they had found Chapo Guzman walking out of his inhumane cell in a New York penitentiary where they have him locked up with the blessing of the International Human Rights Organization.
Ironically, a few hours earlier I was talking to a lady who was taking my police report and telling her how proud I was of the work our rank and file officers are doing and how good they are serving the community despite the lack of administration support.
One hour earlier, before I was treated like a criminal and like trash, the homeless who had invaded my two offices were treated much better and with more dignity and respect than I was being treated.
I am not excusing myself; I was wrong for driving with an expired license plate and I most likely deserved the citation, but the behavior of those police officers was way out of line.
He was driving North on 10th Street, after spending almost an hour at the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store giving someone else a hard time, I was driving out of my parking lot to go back into the alley to drive to my other office on 9th Street.
He looked me straight in the eyes; I looked at him too, and he made a U-turn and started following me until I stopped in front of my 9th Street office and he then turned his light on.
As soon as his light came on, it seemed as if it was a backup signal; the other four cars surrounded my car and blocked me as if I was going to run away, making me look like a fugitive of justice without yet being charged with any crime.
There was the big-mouthed officer by the name of R.Lopez who got upset because I asked him if he was Mexican. He almost bit my head off and told me to shut up. I wonder if he would be as tough and brave if he did not have on the khaki uniform, the badge and gun; I also wonder
why he got so upset for being asked if he is Mexican. Did he think that he was better than a Mexican police officer? He definitely did not look Cuban like me.
Those who know me know that I have been in and out of the hospital for the last few months, having suffered three heart attacks and have no energy to run from the police, much less from four of them in the physical condition that I am in, even if one of them might be in worse-looking physical condition than me, with a less-than-jolly Santa belly.
The crime that I admit to committing did not warrant the treatment I got from those members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; I know they have a reason to be afraid when they stop someone, but if they knew I was coming out of a local office and they saw me stopping at the next office over, they could easily have assumed (in this case) that I was a delivery boy, a newspaper delivery person or something to that effect; they could have used the radio to run my plates and see that my name was not Chapo Guzman, Tony Spilotro or John Gotti; actually I do not think they would have the balls to treat any of them — if they were still alive — as they treated me.
I remember one time at the Sahara Hotel when then the so-called organized crime unit of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department walked into the coffee shop to arrest someone they assumed was Tony Spilotro, apologetically interrupting his breakfast and asking him to
accompany them to their office for questioning; it so happened it was not Tony Spilotro — who was banned from entering any gaming establishment — but his brother, the doctor.
Remember what happens when one assumes, but regardless, my point of view this week is that my admitted crime did not rise to the level of my being treated like an animal, of my not being allowed to speak or explain my reasons for violating a traffic law — unless all those police officers knew that this newspaper supports President Donald Trump and are holding some whistleblower to testify against me in court for committing the heinous crime of driving five miles to my residence with an expired registration.
Or it could be what I have been saying all along, that it is Sheriff Joe Lombardo’s payback for not supporting and/or endorsing his candidature for a position that he is not capable of fulfilling.
Wishing a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all — and to all those who do not believe in the presidency of President Trump, I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year anyway!!!
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.