Former assemblyman Brooks arrested in California after highway chase

The video is disturbing, if not shocking.

Former Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks is thrown to the ground, and a police officer jumps on him. The officer winds up for three powerful punches, although it’s unclear whether he strikes Brooks.

Jennifer Simpson was shocked by the footage her husband filmed outside their Victorville, Calif., apartment, but for different reasons. Although she was the person who posted the video to YouTube, she also thought it was slightly misleading.

From her angle away from her husband, she could clearly see the man kicking and fighting back against the officer, she said.

“In the video it shows the officer like he’s beating him without reason,” Simpson said Friday. “He was trying to kick the officers from him, and he was putting up a pretty good fight, too. … I think they (police) were completely justified the way he was fighting.”

Simpson thought a few friends might find the video interesting. She had no idea the man arrested was a lawmaker who was expelled from the Nevada Legislature earlier that day and was being arrested for the third time in a few months.

Brooks was arrested after a chase by the Barstow Police Department about
7 p.m. Thursday on charges of evading and resisting arrest, throwing objects from his vehicle and harming a police dog.

Brooks is accused of hitting a police dog with a wrench. Officers used a Taser stun gun on Brooks during the arrest.

According to police, the chase began after Brooks refused to pay a tow truck driver after his SUV got a flat tire on Interstate 15, near Lenwood Road. As one officer was talking to the truck driver, Brooks began walking “at a fast pace” toward his car.

Officers ordered Brooks to stop, but he got into his car and began driving south on I-15, police said.

Brooks was driving with a flat tire, and sparks and smoke were coming from his car, police said. Officers from the California Highway Patrol and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office joined the chase.

According to the Victorville Daily Press citing an unnamed California Highway Patrol official, Brooks threw several objects, including a handgun, out the window of his SUV as officers chased him.

Barstow police didn’t mention a handgun in their report. California Highway Patrol refused comment on the arrest on Friday.

Brooks stopped the car after running over a spike strip, police said, and eventually exited the car. But he went back inside after police sent canine officer Buck after him.

Buck jumped through the rear window of Brooks’ car and began attacking him, police said. Brooks then choked Buck and hit him with the socket wrench, police said.

Brooks was finally pulled from the car and arrested. It’s unclear which officer threw punches. Barstow police officer William Spiller made the arrest.

Brooks, a Democrat from District 17 in North Las Vegas, did not attend the Assembly session in Carson City in which he was expelled in a voice vote.

Brooks was being held Friday night in a San Bernardino County jail on $100,000 bail. His court date is set for Tuesday.

Brooks’ troubles began with a Jan. 19 arrest on allegations he threatened Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick because of his committee assignments.

Brooks still faces criminal charges, including a felony, stemming from a domestic violence arrest involving his wife in February. The Kirkpatrick matter is under review by the Nevada attorney general’s office.

A few days after his Jan. 19 arrest, Brooks was hospitalized for a mental evaluation after a disturbance at his grandmother’s house involving a sword.

On Feb. 10, he was arrested on suspicion of physically attacking his estranged wife in Las Vegas, then grabbing at an officer’s gun as he was taken into custody.

Because of Thursday’s arrest, Clark County prosecutors will seek to revoke Brooks’ bail in the February domestic violence case, District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

Prosecutors are hoping to have Brooks back in Las Vegas next week for a bail revocation hearing.

“He is clearly a threat to himself and to others,” Wolfson said.

Brooks was banished from the Legislative Building by Horne on Feb. 11 because of his questionable behavior.

Brooks attended the opening day of the Legislature on Feb. 4 and attended a few committee meetings and floor sessions before abruptly leaving Feb. 7 to seek what he said was medical treatment.

He was expelled Thursday in a voice vote.

Brooks’ expulsion was the first in Nevada’s nearly 150-year history. He has now lost both his day job with the city of Las Vegas and his part-time position in the Legislature.

Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, said he was devastated by the news. Munford was one of the two known legislators who voted against expelling Brooks, but he wouldn’t make the same decision today.

“I would have recanted my vote not to expel him (if the arrest had occurred earlier),” Munford said.

Munford said he thought Brooks was still “rational,” but from his action in the latest arrest, he is convinced Brooks has mental problems and should have been removed.

Assemblywoman Dina Neal, who also voted against removing Brooks, said Friday that the new charges did not change her view that Brooks should have been suspended instead of being expelled.

“He is troubled, but we already knew that. People need to figure out how to help him,” she said.

Reporters Colton Lochhead, Francis McCabe and Ed Vogel contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.

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