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Embattled Henderson police union boss now facing charges after crash

Updated December 6, 2022 - 11:24 am

Gary Hargis, the embattled and outgoing Henderson’s police union president who was suspended from his job as a police officer as the department investigated whether he struck a motorcyclist in a hit-and-run, is now facing criminal charges.

Court records show that Hargis, 47, was charged with three misdemeanor counts in Henderson Municipal Court on Monday.

Those charges are failure to give information to a party at a vehicle accident, failure to maintain lane/improper lane change, and duty to stop at an accident involving damage to vehicle or property, according to court records.

The charges against Hargis come after an Oct. 13 collision, when officers said a man driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV struck a motorcyclist near the intersection of Greenway Road and Van Wagenen Street.

The motorcyclist, 18-year-old Kevin Dammers, said he suffered an ankle injury. But the Clark County district attorney’s office declined to pursue felony hit-and-run charges, saying late last month that they could not find sufficient evidence to prove that the rider suffered bodily injury.

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

According to a police report and video of the collision, the SUV crossed into the motorcycle’s path while making a right turn, striking it head-on. The vehicle was registered to Hargis’ wife, record shows.

A GoPro video filmed by Dammers captured the crash. In the clip, Dammers applied the brakes on his motorcycle when a vehicle suddenly struck the front of the bike, knocking him down. The Jeep continued driving.

A witness and friend of Dammers followed the Jeep and told police he saw the driver park in a driveway. When the Jeep driver got out, the witness confronted him.

“No your friend hit me,” the man responded, according to a Henderson Police Department incident report.

The witness “was under the impression the male was under the influence due to his slurred speech and walk,” the report stated.

It also named Hargis as a suspect in the crash investigation.

Dammers’ friend took a photo of the SUV. The officer who wrote the report noted recognizing the car as one he had seen parked at the Henderson Police Officers’ Association union building at 145 Panama St. before the crash.

Hargis lost re-election as president of the Henderson Police Officers’ Association to Shawn Thibeault, according to Andrew Regenbaum, executive director of the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers. Thibeault, who is listed as a trustee on the union website, will take over as president in January.

An arraignment for Hargis was set for Jan. 19, court records show.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.

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