Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 | 1:06 p.m.
Map of Box Car Buffet at Railroad Pass
2800 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson
Kalani Ahquin was sentenced today to four years in prison for leading police in a high-speed pursuit in a stolen car that ended with his arrest at the buffet at the Railroad Pass Casino.
Ahquin, 34, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted stop required on signal of police officer and attempted battery with use of a deadly weapon for trying to ram a police car.
He will be eligible for parole after one year.
Prosecutor Hagar Trippiedi said Ahquin is an admitted methamphetamine addict. He told officers that he had been “slamming speed” for several days prior to the chase on May 22, according to police reports.
“The incident was serious in nature,” Trippiedi said. “People could have gotten hurt.”
Ahquin declined to speak at the hearing.
His attorney, Deputy Public Defender Courtney Kluever, asked that the sentences on the two charges run concurrently, to which District Court Judge Elissa Cadish agreed.
Ahquin has three prior felony convictions. He had been out of prison for three months when he led Boulder City police officers on the 100 mph chase.
Two Boulder City officers were traveling south on U.S. 95 when a white Pontiac Grand Am passed them at a high rate of speed near Sunset Road in Henderson, according to reports.
While in pursuit, one officer reported the Pontiac slowed down and the driver stuck his arm out the window and seemed to be signaling the police. The car then sped off and passed vehicles while in the emergency lanes.
The Pontiac stopped on the shoulder near the Auto Show Drive exit, but when officers tried to approach, it sped off again.
Near the Railroad Pass Casino, the car stopped and a male passenger fled on foot. Police captured him and later determined he had accepted a ride to Boulder City with Ahquin but did not know him well.
Police released the man without arresting him.
Ahquin continued driving on U.S. 93, nearly hit a police cruiser, then turned around and pulled into the casino parking lot.
He then ran into the casino and shoved a female bystander before security guards tackled him near the restaurant.
A female security guard said Ahquin punched her in the jaw when she attempted to stop him. Surveillance cameras did not capture the assault on the guard.