A security officer faces a murder charge after pushing an 82-year-old man off of a bus in November, an arrest report said.
Anthony Louis Villanueva, 41, was jailed Saturday in Clark County Detention Center in the death of Charles Adams, who died about a month after he was pushed from the bus on Nov 14.
North Las Vegas police accused Villanueva of using unnecessary force and attempting to instigate a fight with Adams in an effort to get the octogenarian off the bus.
“It was apparent to me that Villanueva provoked an assault through his words and actions,” an officer wrote in the report after reviewing video and audio recorded from inside the bus. “I believe Villanueva was baiting (Adams) into initiating physical contact with him, rather than encouraging him to peacefully get off the bus.”
Adams spent about a month in the hospital before he died in hospice on Dec. 21, the report said. Adams’ cause and manner of death were pending with the Clark County coroner’s office Wednesday. However, a coroner investigator told police that it appeared Adams died as the result of the injuries he suffered that night.
The argument began about 3:45 a.m. when Villanueva asked Adams to move his walker from an aisle. Adams complied, but he “used coarse language in expressing his contempt for Villanueva,” the report said.
The two traded insults until the bus came to a stop at the 2300 block of Las Vegas Boulevard North, near Civic Center Drive, the report said. Villanueva got off the bus and told Adams to do the same, but in a manner that suggested he was looking for a fight, police wrote.
“Get your a— up; let’s go, tough guy!” Villanueva said, according to the report.
Adams threw his walker toward Villanueva but didn’t get off the bus. At some point, police had been called. Rather than waiting for police to arrive, Villanueva got back on the bus and continued to challenge Adams to a fight, the report said.
Adams swung his belt at Villanueva, the report said, then Villanueva “responded by grabbing (Adams) with both hands, manhandling him and shoving him toward the bus door.” Villanueva pushed him out the bus door and onto the concrete sidewalk, landing on top of Adams, the report said. Adams’ body went limp, and he suffered facial fractures.
“Even after (Adams) swung his belt at Villanueva, there was no reason why Villanueva could not have waited outside the bus for police to arrive and handle the situation,” police wrote in the report.
During a Jan. 8 interview with police, Villanueva told police he had known Adams before, “and he knew him to be a problem.” He denied having any intention to fight or harm Adams, adding that the force he used to take down Adams was accidental.
“He said he was tired from working too many hours working with ‘the scum of the earth,’ and (Adams) got under his skin,” the report said. “He acknowledged that he made a mistake.”
Villanueva remained in jail Wednesday on a charge of murder of an older person. His bail was set at $500,000, and he has a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 24, records show.
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the security officer’s employer.