Courthouse marshal faces charges in off-duty incident


A Clark County courthouse marshal faces misdemeanor charges after pulling his gun on a driver the marshal thought was speeding on a residential street.

Marshal Travis Best faces one count each of disorderly conduct and conspiracy for the June 13, 2010, incident on Lowden Lane, near Rainbow Boulevard and Westcliff Drive. He is to be arraigned Wednesday in District Court.

Best, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, told Las Vegas police that when he saw Gregory Ordaz -- which is also spelled Ortiz in court records -- speeding down Lowden, he pulled out a handgun, pointed it at Ordaz, and ordered him to stop. Best said he also showed Ordaz his badge.

Ordaz told police he thought he was being carjacked and never saw a badge.

Ordaz said that as he was driving down Lowden, a man stepped into the street and flagged him down.

"As Ordaz stopped, Travis Best pointed a handgun at his head ordering Ordaz from his vehicle," an arrest warrant said.

Ordaz told police he refused to get out of the vehicle because he thought he was being robbed.

Best accused Ordaz of speeding, to which Ordaz laughed, stating he couldn't because his car was a lowrider and any bump hit at higher speed would "bottom out the vehicle."

Ordaz told police that "during the entire incident Best never identified himself or showed Ordaz any identification," according to the warrant.

The marshal told police a different story.

Best said the vehicle was traveling about 45 mph, "fast enough to jump the speed bump in the street."

The marshal said he thought the vehicle was traveling fast enough to strike a group of about a dozen teenagers who were crossing the street.

Best said he first displayed his badge and yelled, "Stop,'' at Ordaz. The vehicle slowed but kept moving forward, and Best drew his firearm.

When the driver refused to get out of his vehicle, Best said, he called police while holding him at gunpoint.

"While waiting the driver shouted that Best was lucky he didn't have his gun or he would shoot Best," according to the warrant.

A man who witnessed the incident told police that "the juveniles in the street could easily have been injured or killed by the driver had Best not stepped forward."

A five-month investigation ensued, after which Best was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in October for pointing a gun at Ordaz, according to the warrant.

But Best faced reduced charges of conspiracy and disorderly conduct when prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in Las Vegas Justice Court.

According to the complaint, Best faces the charges for confronting Ordaz and causing "a disturbance in the middle of the road."

It was not clear in court records whether Ordaz was ever cited for speeding.

Meanwhile, Best remains on active duty and is assigned to Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen's courtroom.

The responsibilities of court marshals include providing security for judges, court employees, the public and prisoners at the Regional Justice Center.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

 

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