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Henderson police seeking arrest of union president on hit-and-run charges

The Henderson Police Department is seeking the arrest of police union president Gary Hargis on charges that include felony hit-and-run, according to police records.

Hargis, 47, allegedly struck a motorcyclist while driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on Oct. 13 just after midnight near the intersection of Greenway Road and Van Wagenen Street.

Last month the police department suspended Hargis, but he remained president of the Henderson Police Officers’ Association.

An HPD affidavit for warrant signed by an officer on Nov. 1 asks that an arrest warrant be issued for Hargis on charges of failing to stop at a crash with injury, failure to report a crash; false statement, failure to provide information or render aid, and failure to maintain a travel lane or making an improper turn.

When asked Friday afternoon to comment by phone about the affidavit, Hargis responded, “No, sorry,” before hanging up.

The affidavit was submitted to the Clark County district attorney’s office, city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said in an email Friday.

Andrew Regenbaum, executive director for the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, said he could not comment because he was not aware of the affidavit or the charges it listed.

In Nevada, it is a felony to flee the scene of a crash causing injury.

The motorcyclist, 18-year-old Kevin Dammers, suffered an ankle injury in the crash. The Jeep entered the motorcycle’s path of travel while it was turning right onto Greenway Road.

A witness followed the Jeep and provided the license plate to police. The witness confronted the driver when he parked and the man said, “No your friend hit me,” according to the affidavit.

The Jeep was registered to Hargis’ wife and Dammers said the driver of the Jeep was a man.

An HPD incident report said the witness believed the man was under the influence due to his slurred speech and walk.

An officer who responded to the crash recalled seeing the Jeep parked behind the HPOA Office, 145 Panama St., at 11:58 p.m. Police served a search warrant at HPOA for video surveillance which showed Hargis exit the office at 11:56 p.m. enter the Jeep and drive away, according to the affidavit.

Police served a search warrant to search the vehicle. The Jeep had damage consistent with a recent crash. Hargis told police that he had been home since 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 12. Police noticed Hargis was bleeding from the head. Those injuries were not visible when he was captured on video about 15 minutes before the crash at the union office.

The details of the crash investigation were attached to the affidavit and included photos of the Jeep and of Hargis. Screenshots from Dammers’ GoPro footage of the crash were used to confirm that the vehicle that struck the motorcycle was the Jeep parked in Hargis’ driveway.

Police served a warrant on Hargis’ phone and found internet searches for “concussion eyes” and “concussion eyes dilated.”

Hargis started working for the city in August 2000, according to city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards. A Review-Journal photo from 2007 identifies him as a Henderson traffic officer. Hargis was also president of the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, according to Review-Journal archives from 2009.

On Thursday night, Hargis lost reelection as president of the union to Shawn Thibeault, according to Regenbaum. Thibeault is listed as a trustee on the union website. He will take over as union president in January.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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