DeMario Reynolds Sr. was “one of the good ones,” a relative remembers.
“Of all the men in my family, he had the least-risk lifestyle,” said Marguerite Clark, cousin to the slain man’s mother and a self-described surrogate mother to Reynolds. “When we heard, we said, ‘How? The good one?’ We were floored.”
Reynolds, 26, a former University of Nevada, Las Vegas football player, was beaten to death in a Strip hotel Saturday, according to an arrest report for the suspect.
Reynolds died after an early morning fight in a Luxor hotel room with Jason Simon Sindelar, 25, the report said.
Reynolds, a 6-foot-tall, 210-pound linebacker, last played for UNLV in 2005, according to the athletic department’s official website.
According to a mixed martial arts website, Sindelar had one professional fight in North Dakota in 2008 and four amateur fights. It was unclear whether Sindelar, a Las Vegas resident, had continued training to be a fighter in Nevada.
Reynolds’ 43-year-old fiancee, Iman Aubrey, who operates purrfectlv.com, a Las Vegas website for prospective swingers, told police Reynolds was trying to stop a fight between Sindelar and his girlfriend in a bathroom about 4 a.m.
Aubrey and other witnesses told police that Sindelar had grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and slapped her, the report said, which prompted Reynolds to grab Sindelar and pull him to the floor.
A witness told police Reynolds said he “didn’t want to fight with him (Sindelar), that he loved him and he just needed to calm down,” the report said.
“He’s not a fighter, that’s not what he does,” Clark said. “We spoke to some of them (witnesses), and they all said Mario never threw a punch.”
The confrontation between the men continued in the master bedroom, where Sindelar “continuously hit Reynolds in the head and chest,” witnesses told police. Reynolds was “sweating and out of breath,” the report said.
Sindelar left the suite but returned several moments later, the report said, and began beating Reynolds in the face and chest. Reynolds had taken a defensive position, witnesses told police.
After Sindelar had left for a second time, Reynolds was unresponsive, and security was called, Aubrey told police, according to the report.
Reynolds was taken to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The Clark County coroner’s office has not released a cause and manner for the death.
During an interview with detectives, Sindelar said Reynolds grabbed him by the throat while he was arguing with his girlfriend. He told police that no physical altercation had occurred, but he had “several visible injuries” on his body, according to the arrest report.
Aubrey, when reached by phone Monday, declined to comment on whether she was hosting a party through her website the day of Reynolds’ death.
But Clark said family members told her there was a swingers party that evening, hosted by Aubrey. Clark said Reynolds’ life might have been saved had someone called hotel security when the fight began.
“If you’re staying at a high-class hotel in Las Vegas and you call security, they’re coming Johnny-on-the-spot,” Clark said.
An official for the company that owns the Luxor directed questions to police.
“We’re fully cooperating with investigators, and further inquiries should be made to Metro,” MGM Resorts International spokesman Gordon Absher said.
Clark said Reynolds’ family did not approve of Aubrey and questioned whether she was more worried about her business than Reynolds.
“Heaven forbid there’s some bad publicity and you can’t have the smut parties there anymore,” she said.
According to Reynolds’ UNLV biography, he played two seasons as a safety at a California junior college before transferring to UNLV. He also played for Las Vegas High School.
Reynolds was the son of Roy Lee Reynolds Sr. and Catherine Clark. He had five siblings. His son, DeMario Jr., was born in 2003.
Marguerite Clark said the family is shaken up, especially Reynolds’ mother.
Reynolds had graduated from UNLV and had a good job working at Luxor’s Cathouse, a nightclub at the hotel.
“This was a good kid. No gangs, no drugs,” she said. “He overcame all these obstacles in his life, and now this? It’s so senseless.”
Sports editor Joe Hawk contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.