Candidate faces allegations

Anthony Snowden needed a physical exam so he could obtain a commercial driver's license. But when his results didn't turn out favorably at Nevada Health Centers, he grabbed his medical records and left.

Now the Assembly District 7 candidate faces felony robbery charges. According to the district attorney's office, he forcibly took property that did not belong to him.

Snowden, a pharmacy technician, said he doesn't see how that's possible. In his eyes, he didn't take anything from Nevada Health Centers that didn't have his name on it, nor did he use force.

But according to Nevada law, even though medical records contain private information such as Social Security numbers, they do not belong to patients. They belong to the health care provider.

Patients have the right to inspect or review those records; they can even have copies of them, but they can't just take them. Doing so is a misdemeanor, according to Nevada law.

Taking them by force, which is how a Nevada Health Centers' physician assistant described Snowden's actions, can lift that theft to robbery.

When told of the medial records law, Snowden said, "I wasn't aware of that.''

He also said the law didn't make sense and should be changed because patients have paid for those medical records.

"I didn't get the services I felt I deserved. They were just sitting there. I got up, grabbed them, and left,'' Snowden said about what happened at Nevada Health Centers. "I didn't use force. ... I don't think that constitutes robbery charges.''

According to a Las Vegas police report, Snowden in August arrived at the Nevada Health Centers office, 1700 Wheeler Peak Drive. After undergoing some tests, a physician assistant told Snowden his blood pressure was high.

Snowden became "irate" after the diagnosis and proceeded to blame nurses for his condition. According to the police report, Snowden used "profane names" when referring to those nurses.

A second blood pressure test was done with the same results, the report says.

According to the report, the physician assistant told Snowden he needed to lower his blood pressure and to come back for another test on a different day.

Snowden, according to the report, asked the physician assistant to sign a waiver so that he could get the commercial driver's license.

When the physician assistant refused, "Snowden reached with his right hand grabbing the folder, that contained all of the information that Snowden checked in with, the test results and the waiver that needed to be signed.''

He and the physician assistant fought over the folder with Snowden eventually striking the medical care personnel with his right elbow across the left side of his face.

According to the police report, Snowden grabbed the folder and ran out of the office. While in a hallway, another clinic staffer saw Snowden running with the records and chased him until the Assembly District 7 candidate drove away in his Volkswagen.

The staffer, a female, wrote down Snowden's license plate and gave it to police.

A warrant for Snowden's arrest was issued several days later, however, he claims he wasn't asked to turn himself in until June 9. An arraignment took place on July 11 at which time Snowden said he was told to reappear in Justice Court in October and to bring an attorney. In the meantime, he hasn't returned the records, claiming they rightfully are his.

Snowden faces incumbent Morse Arberry in the primary.

Contact reporter Annette Wells at awells@ or 702-383-0283.