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Boy, 16, killed by cable stretched across bike trail, police say

Updated August 4, 2023 - 6:51 pm

A 16-year-old boy died from injuries to his neck when he struck a cable stretched across a paved trail while driving his minibike next to the Las Vegas Wash, police said in a report released Thursday.

An emergency worker arrived at the scene just after midnight on Sunday to find the teen, identified as Angel Naranjo, of Las Vegas, “sitting up against the east wall” next to the trail with “injuries to his neck,” according the Metropolitan Police Department.

Within the hour, a police officer responded to a call to the paved trail by the Las Vegas Wash, near the intersection of East Lake Mead Boulevard and Pecos Road, and was told that Naranjo was dead, and his body was inside an ambulance, police reported.

A red minibike and a brown minibike, which are compact motorcycles frequently used for off-road riding, were up against the east wall at the scene of the incident, based on the report.

The officer learned that the teen had been “on his minibike on the pathway when a cable that was tied to a pole from the fence across the pathway struck the victim on the neck while the victim was riding his minibike,” causing him to fall off the bike, according to the report.

The boy’s 19-year-old brother, who was not identified, told the officer “he was riding directly behind his brother” and observed the teen falling off the bike, the officer stated.

The brother “was hysterical on scene and could not provide further details,” according to the report.

“A hanging cable was observed over the west side of the fence,” the officer stated.

As of Thursday morning, Las Vegas police were still investigating the circumstances behind how the boy was killed, according to Metro public information officer Aiden OcampoGomez.

The paved trail where the boy died is part of the Las Vegas Wash Trail, a shared use path that “provides a critical link to the trail systems in the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas,” according to Clark County’s website.

The website for the City of North Las Vegas describes the trail as a 10-foot wide asphalt path designed to accommodate a variety of users including pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, strollers and wheelchairs.

The trails are not intended for motorized use or equestrians, according to the website.

On Thursday afternoon, the path of the Las Vegas Wash, near the intersection where the boy’s body was found, appeared unmaintained, with portions of the path and chainlink fence damaged. There were also holes visible in the cinderblock wall next to the path, across from a cabled fence.

Erik Pappa, Clark County spokesman, said county officials are keeping an eye on the boy’s case.

“The LVMPD is investigating the incident, and our coroner’s office is working to determine the cause and manner of death,” Pappa said. “We look forward to learning more about what occurred. We are heartbroken for the family and friends of Angel Naranjo for this tragic loss.”

Naranjo’s family members could not be reached for comment this week.

A GoFundMe page created by a family friend to help pay for his memorial costs had raised more than $13,000 toward its goal of $20,000 as of Thursday.

Another fundraiser in honor of the teen, a car wash sponsored by the Las Vegas-based firm Byond Details, is set for Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the parking lot at 3485 S. Rainbow Blvd. next to Burger King, according to Steven Nava, one of the organizers.

A previous version of this story misspelled Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa’s first name.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow @JeffBurbank2 on Twitter.

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