What happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Sometimes it ends up in California.
Police chased a former lawmaker on a freeway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and arrested him at gunpoint following a struggle, hours after he became the first person ever expelled from the Nevada Legislature.
Steven Brooks was jailed in California’s San Bernardino County after being subdued with punches and a Taser. Police alleged he attacked a police dog with a wrench.
Brooks’ arrest Thursday near the California city of Victorville was his third since January, and came just hours after colleagues in the Legislature deemed the Democrat from North Las Vegas too dangerous and unpredictable to serve his elected term. Lawmakers wept Thursday as they cited concerns about their own safety and evidence collected about an increasingly bizarre series of public incidents.
Police allege that Brooks threatened a Democratic party Assembly leader before one arrest and threw punches and grabbed for the gun of a police officer in his second arrest about three weeks later. He also was hospitalized for five days for a mental evaluation following another police encounter that didn’t result in an arrest.
Brooks’ first arrest was Jan. 19, after he was accused of making threats toward legislative colleagues including Assembly Democratic Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick. North Las Vegas police said Brooks had a gun and ammunition in his car when he was arrested. The state attorney general’s office hasn’t filed criminal charges in the case.
Brooks was sworn in at the Legislature on Feb. 4, but was arrested again Feb. 10 at his estranged wife’s home in Las Vegas after police alleged he tried to punch and grabbed for the gun of an officer who responded to a domestic dispute. Brooks faces a court hearing in May in Las Vegas on one felony and three lesser charges.
He was sworn in and then banished from the Legislature building as a possible security risk days after arriving in a hooded sweatshirt and ducking into an office to avoid reporters.
He posed shirtless for a newspaper photograph to show injuries that he said he suffered during his first arrest, but that weren’t apparent. He tried unsuccessfully to buy a rifle at a sporting goods store in Sparks. He bought body armor from a radio show host in Las Vegas. He lost his job as a Las Vegas city management analyst. And he reported his car stolen.
Brooks’ expulsion from the state Assembly came by voice vote following a recommendation from a bipartisan panel that met largely behind closed doors. The seven panel members voted 6-1 for expulsion after considering a more than 900-page investigative report produced by a Las Vegas lawyer hired as a special counsel.
That certainly is one long report.