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Nye County officer, suspect swap cars during wild chase

Nye County sheriff’s deputies are being praised for showing restraint in a recent confrontation that could have ended with deadly results.

Pahrump resident David Plinske was arrested on Saturday after authorities said he wrestled with a police officer, stole a sheriff’s car, taunted officers and demanded they shoot him.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo commended his deputies for showing “great restraint” while attempting to defuse the situation.

“All of the deputies are trained to recognize what kind of force is appropriate for the situation,” he said.

“When the deputy noticed the suspect didn’t have a weapon in his hand, the deputy transitioned from using her service firearm to pepper spray. I am very proud of the men and women of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.”

Deputies are familiar with Plinske from recent encounters, DeMeo said.

“We’ve had contact with this individual during traffic stops multiple times where he showed a level of threat against deputies,” DeMeo said.

“He’s been known to act in a state that would be called irrational, and that was the state he displayed during this incident, which led to his arrest.”

The incident started about 1 p.m. when Plinske was caught driving 92 mph in a 35 mph posted zone on state Route 160, police said. The deputy pulled Plinske over on Route 160 near Basin Avenue.

Plinske jumped out of his black SUV and moved toward two sheriff’s deputies, refused to follow their commands and demanded that they shoot him, according to the arrest report.

After being tased to no effect, Plinske jumped into a deputy’s patrol vehicle and drove off.

The deputy then commandeered the closest vehicle he could find — Plinske’s SUV — and took chase.

“The officer made the right decision to jump in the suspect’s vehicle and follow him to the courthouse,” DeMeo said.

The pursuit lasted a half-mile. Plinske got out of the car in front of the Ian Deutch Justice Complex, 1520 E. Basin Ave., and again confronted the deputies, according to the arrest report.

Deputies finally subdued Plinske after they pepper-sprayed and wrestled him to the ground, the report said.

Cles Saunders watched the scene in front of the courthouse and called the deputies actions praiseworthy.

“To tell you the truth, I really thought they were going to shoot this man,” Saunders said.

“He charged at them after getting out of the deputy’s car, but they really showed their professionalism and restraint. That guy is very lucky to be alive.”

Plinske was released Monday after posting a $20,000 bond.

He faces several felony charges including grand larceny auto, possession of a stolen vehicle, intimidating a police officer, and battery on a police officer.

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