The Clark County district attorney's office has charged two Las Vegas police officers involved in a May fatal crash with reckless driving, officials said Wednesday.
Officer Aron Carpenter faces felony reckless driving and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for his role in the May 19 death of 26-year-old Ivan Carrillo. Officer Andrew Charles Ubbens faces misdemeanor reckless driving.
Due to the severity of the charge, Carpenter, 29, has been removed from paid administrative leave and will be placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of his trial.
Ubbens will remain on paid leave.
Both officers are accused of ignoring their sergeant's commands to stop pursuit of Carrillo, who was suspected of drunken driving.
According to a police report, Carpenter and Ubbens ignored three separate commands to discontinue the pursuit. Ubbens attempted to end the chase by using the Precision Intervention Technique, also called PIT, to bump Carrillo's car and spin it out of control. However, Carrillo regained control and continued to drive.
Carpenter allegedly radioed to his sergeant that he and Ubbens had broken off the chase, when they had not.
Later in the chase, Carpenter's vehicle struck Carrillo's and spun it into traffic. Although the two cars hit in precisely the way a PIT is done, Carpenter maintains he was not trying to do the maneuver, police said.
Carpenter steered to the right because he perceived that Carrillo was moving into his travel lane, the report said, and investigators agreed with Carpenter's account.
Ubbens is accused of lying during the internal investigation, in which he said he never attempted PIT on Carrillo's car.
Double edged sword for me here. These cops endangered the lives of everyone on the road, ignored direct orders and then tried to lie about it afterwards. Clearly they shouldn't in uniform.
But....better the driver who was hocked up on meth and had no qualms about endangering the lives of others die than someone innocent... which is usually how these cases end up.
Two cops who shouldn't be cops lose their jobs and the world has one less selfish DUI driver to worry about. Best case scenario.