The man shot by an off-duty police detective Sunday night at the Excalibur had “some diminished capacity,” according to an arrest report released Thursday.
The shooting unfolded after Las Vegas police detective Bernard Plaskett and his wife, Patience, parked their white Range Rover at the curb near the southeast tower of the hotel and were looking for relatives staying at the resort, the report said.
The couple left the keys in the car and the driver’s side door open, according to the report.
After talking to family members for a few moments, Patience told police that she heard the door close. She went to look inside, only to see the man, identified as 27-year-old Saul Villegas, sitting in the driver’s seat.
When the detective’s wife told Villegas to get out of the car, he said he was taking it. When she told him to get out again, he told her to get in and “that he was taking the car for a ride,” the report said.
Patience told police she saw Villegas reach for the center console and thought he was reaching for a gun, so she backed away and alerted her husband.
Bernard Plaskett told Villegas several times to exit the vehicle, but Villegas refused and said he was going to take the SUV, the report said.
Plaskett then reached into the vehicle and grabbed a handgun inside, identified himself as a Las Vegas police officer, and ordered Villegas to put his hands on the steering wheel, according to the report.
Plaskett told police that Villegas reached down “with his left hand to the outside of his left leg.” Plaskett assumed that Villegas was reaching for a weapon and fired a single round, which struck Villegas in his left wrist.
Villegas got out of the car and walked to the front of the vehicle, where security offered him aid and took him into custody.
When detectives interviewed Villegas at the scene, they noted that he was clearly mentally diminished in some way, but he was able to understand detectives and “knew that trying to steal a car was wrong,” the report said.
According to the report, Villegas admitted to detectives that he was going to take the SUV for a ride. Villegas was not arrested at the time.
He was taken to University Medical Center for treatment of the gunshot wound. He was booked Wednesday at the Clark County Detention Center on one charge of attempted auto theft.
Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638. Follow him on Twitter @clochhead44.