Ex-North Las Vegas assistant chief asked troopers to ‘help him out’

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When former North Las Vegas Assistant Police Chief Clinton Ryan was pulled over on suspicion of DUI in July, he asked Nevada Highway Patrol troopers if they could “help him out,” according to his arrest report.

Ryan, who resigned four days after he was arrested by the Highway Patrol, was stopped July 21 near U.S. Highway 95 and Charleston Boulevard after an off-duty police officer reported a reckless driver. After receiving the call at 6:09 p.m., a trooper found Ryan’s truck, which was pulling a horse trailer, and saw him swerve multiple times, the report said.

When Ryan was approached by a trooper, he quickly identified himself as the North Las Vegas assistant chief, according to body camera footage of the arrest released by the Highway Patrol.

He is seen in the video telling the trooper he was coming back from Kingman, Arizona, and had consumed three or four beers. He refused to take field sobriety tests.

After a Highway Patrol sergeant arrived at the scene, Ryan asked “multiple times if there was anything that we could do to help him out,” the arresting trooper wrote in the report.

The trooper wrote that he and the sergeant “both responded that we were sorry, but that we had to do our job.”

Troopers also found an open can of Coors Light beer in the truck that “was cold to the touch and in reach of the driver’s seat,” the report said.

The open beer can and Ryan asking for troopers to “help him out” was not shown in the redacted video sent by the Highway Patrol. The agency claimed it redacted the video to protect the integrity of its investigation and a separate administrative investigation in North Las Vegas.

Ryan was arrested at 6:39 p.m, 30 minutes after the report of a reckless driver. He was taken to the Clark County Detention Center, where he refused to submit a blood or breath test, the report said.

A warrant for a blood test was issued at 7:42 p.m., and his blood was taken once at 7:58 p.m., the report said.

It’s illegal for someone “found by measurement within two hours” of operating a vehicle to have a blood alcohol level above .08 percent, according to Nevada law. The report was unclear when exactly Ryan pulled his vehicle over, but the blood test was taken an hour and 49 minutes after the call regarding reckless driving, according to the report.

Ryan was placed on paid administrative leave before he resigned, and the North Las Vegas Police Department launched an internal investigation the morning after Ryan’s arrest, according to the city’s chief of staff, Delen Goldberg. Goldberg has said she suspects the internal investigation will be closed in the wake of Ryan’s resignation.

It was not clear Wednesday if the department had closed its investigation.

Ryan served in roles including department training officer, internal affairs sergeant and special operations lieutenant during his 22-year career with the department.

Ryan was not the only person associated with the North Las Vegas Police Department to recently be arrested on suspicion of DUI. On Friday, 26-year-old police recruit Anna Gallagher was arrested after backing her vehicle into another vehicle in a private parking lot, the department said.

Goldberg has said the crash was “more of a fender bender.” North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt said Wednesday that Gallagher has resigned from the department, but it was unclear if internal affairs was still investigating her arrest.

“There is zero tolerance in the department for this type of behavior,” police Chief Pamela Ojeda said in a statement after Gallagher’s crash. “It will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately, and we will be aggressively addressing it department-wide.”

Ryan faces misdemeanor charges of DUI, drinking alcohol while driving or in control of a motor vehicle, and failure to maintain travel lanes, court records show. He is due to appear in court Sept. 19.

Gallagher and Ryan both were released on their own recognizance. Gallagher, who faces misdemeanor charges of DUI and possessing a gun under the influence, is due to appear in court Sept. 24, court records show.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.