A mannequin, covered with blankets and positioned to resemble a homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk, was attacked with a hammer near downtown Las Vegas.
The suspect told Las Vegas police he knew it wasn’t a human.
But homicide detectives who staged the mannequin scene say they believe Shane Schindler, 30, was out to kill.
Two homeless men were bludgeoned to death within a month’s time earlier this year, and Schindler’s arrest report indicates that he attacked the police decoy in a similar fashion.
Schindler appeared in court this week, facing one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
A $5,000 bond was set, but a prosecutor asked Las Vegas Judge Karen Bennett-Haron to raise it to $250,000 without any further charges being added, according to court records.
The judge instead decided to raise Schindler’s bail on the concealed weapon charge to $50,000, 10 times the standard amount.
Deputy Public Defender Ashley Sisolak called the bail “excessive” and said “my client has proclaimed his innocence, and I look forward to fighting these allegations.”
HAMMER IN A BAG
Police said that on Feb. 22, Schindler was carrying a 4-pound engineer’s hammer, or ball-peen hammer, inside a Little Caesar’s Pizza bag in the area where two men had recently been killed.
Daniel Aldape, 46, was found dead about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 4 near the southeast corner of City and Grand Central parkways. He had been struck “four or five times” on the head with a heavy object, and his body was still on the ground wrapped in blankets when officers arrived, police said.
A month later, David Dunn, 60, was found dead on the northwest corner of the same intersection. He also had suffered apparent head trauma.
At the time, police had no leads, but detectives weren’t ruling out the possibility of “thrill kills.”
So they set up the decoy “to resemble a human male sleeping in a natural position,” covered with a blanket in the same spot where Aldape was killed.
Schindler approached the decoy, scanned the area for traffic, pulled up his hoodie and grabbed the hammer from his bag, according to an arrest report.
ATTACK CAPTURED ON VIDEO
The mannequin attack was captured on police surveillance video.
“When close enough to strike his victim, Schindler removed the hammer from the bag then struck what he thought was a human being in the head with the hammer with the intent to kill,” the report states. “The decoy mannequin was staged in a manner which would have made it impossible for Schindler to have determined the mannequin was not a human being before he struck. Schindler swung the hammer using both arms to generate maximum force to his blow.”
Questioned by police, Schindler acknowledged kicking the decoy and ultimately striking it with his hammer, but he said he “knew it was a mannequin” before he hit it, according to the report.