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Missing French track athlete found safe in Las Vegas jail

Updated March 20, 2018 - 7:04 pm

A French athlete who was reported missing in Las Vegas last weekend has been in Las Vegas police custody since Friday, officials said.

Mathieu Louisy’s family last heard from the track athlete on Thursday, when he called his mother and girlfriend “to tell them he was not feeling very well,” according to a post on Twitter early Tuesday. It was one of many social media posts seeking information on the 20-year-old, who had traveled to Las Vegas alone and did not board his flight to Paris on Tuesday.

“No news since then, no social network activity, cell phone is off,” Maryse Ewanje-Epee said in the same tweet. She shared the post on behalf of Olivier Louisy, the athlete’s cousin.

Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Jay Rivera confirmed Louisy was arrested early Friday on the south end of the Strip, near Las Vegas Boulevard South and Sunset Road, after providing a false statement to obstruct a public officer. Details about the incident weren’t immediately available.

Louisy was initially booked into the Las Vegas Detention Center as a John Doe, police said. He was later transported to the Clark County Detention Center after he spat on someone in the city jail, which resulted in a gross misdemeanor charge, Rivera said. Louisy was still in custody Tuesday afternoon.

“People do not need to be missing for 24 hours before you can report it. That’s a common misconception,” Rivera added. “Whoever filed the report did the absolute right thing in reporting it right away. We as a police department do not look down on that. We’d rather have a missing persons report right away, even if we end up finding out they have been arrested or that they are OK. That is absolutely what we encourage people to do.”

Olivier Louisy said his cousin was in Las Vegas for a sports seminar.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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