A Las Vegas police officer is recovering from injuries sustained after a “belligerent” cabdriver tried to run him over Sunday night, authorities said.
Traffic officer J. Richter suffered bruises and was treated at University Medical Center after leaping from his motorcycle to avoid being hit, said Capt. Richard Collins, head of the Metropolitan Police Department’s traffic bureau.
Meanwhile, Leslie Dean Pike was charged with two counts of attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon and one count each of battery on a police officer, battery with a deadly weapon and evading a police officer. He was held without bail Wednesday at the Clark County Detention Center.
Pike, driving a Checkered Cab company vehicle, originally was pulled over by Richer about 9:35 p.m. for driving recklessly near Decatur Boulevard and Hacienda Avenue, according to his arrest report. The report noted that Pike also was alleged to have been driving 47 mph in a 25-mph zone.
From the beginning of the incident, Pike was uncooperative and acted agitated, so Richter called Taxi Cab Authority investigator Rob Letourneau, according to the arrest report.
“Pike became very belligerent with Officer Richter, stating, ‘I would rather die then (sic) pay for these tickets,’” according to the arrest report.
Pike then sped off, almost running over Letourneau’s feet as Richter pushed him out of the way, the report said.
The two officers gave chase, but the cabdriver turned his vehicle around and drove toward them.
Richter avoided Pike’s charge, but Letourneau’s vehicle was hit.
The joust continued as Pike pulled another U-turn and charged again, driving directly toward Richter, the report stated.
Collins said Richter jumped from his motorcycle moments before the cab slammed into it.
According to the arrest report, Richter pulled his gun and Pike said, “Why don’t you just shoot me?”
Instead, Richter tried to pull Pike from the cab, using pepper spray.
But Pike put the vehicle in drive and sped off again, nearly striking Letourneau, who was running toward the cab, the report stated.
This time the cab didn’t get far. The front passenger side tire went flat after the vehicle struck a curb and came to rest at Hacienda and Edmond Street, even as Richter and Letourneau were running after Pike on foot.
More police officers soon swarmed the scene, and Pike was arrested.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at email@example.com or (702) 387-2904.