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Police: Officer slapped child in the face, left loaded gun unattended

A Las Vegas police officer allegedly slapped his child in the face, according to a police warrant, and left a loaded firearm unattended in the backyard.

The Metropolitan Police Department announced on Nov. 16 that 31-year-old Officer Joseph Ortega had been arrested on child abuse and domestic violence charges.

“Simply put, no crime occurred, and Mr. Ortega was cleared to return to work,” Ortega’s attorney Ross Goodman said in an email Monday night. “We look forward to defending the highly dubious charges recently filed against Mr. Ortega in upcoming court proceedings.”

Ortega has been employed by the department since 2017. He was most recently assigned to the West Community Policing Division in Northwest Area Command.

The department did not respond Monday to confirm if Ortega was still employed or cleared to return to work.

At the time of his arrest, the department said Ortega had been placed on a suspension of his police powers without pay.

According to an arrest warrant, Ortega in March texted the mother of his two children, saying he had slapped one of the children too hard and should not be left alone with them.

The woman told police that during an argument Ortega broke several items in the home.

She said Ortega never pointed a firearm at her or the kids. One of Ortega’s children told police in an interview that Ortega did point the firearm “directly at us,” according to the warrant.

Police have alleged Ortega left a loaded firearm in the backyard unattended.

On Nov. 14, the Clark County district attorney’s office charged Ortega with two counts of child abuse and two counts of assault constituting domestic violence.

Court records show he is due in court on Dec. 21.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com.

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