Published Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | 5:44 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | 6:07 p.m.
A former North Las Vegas Police officer has been arrested after allegedly fabricating a story that his police badge protected him while being shot earlier this year.
Bryan Kolstad, 31, surrendered Tuesday to authorities and was booked into the North Las Vegas Detention Center in connection with a false report by a public officer and discharging a firearm where a person might be endangered. Both charges are gross misdemeanors and Kolstad was released on his own recognizance.
Detectives were notified May 26 that the Clark County District Attorney’s Office had obtained arrest warrants in the case.
Authorities said that on Feb. 13 while on patrol near Deer Springs Way and McCarren Street, Kolstad radioed an urgent request for help, saying he had been shot in the chest and that he returned fire, hitting a suspect. Numerous officers from the Nevada Highway Patrol and Metro Police responded to help North Las Vegas authorities.
North Las Vegas Police spokesman Tim Bedwell said Kolstad told officials he had been investigating gunfire in the area. Kolstad had said he spotted a suspect, who then shot him when confronted. Kolstad told investigators he returned fire, striking the suspect.
But investigators said they found no evidence of a suspect being involved in the incident, although witnesses did hear gunfire.
Kolstad told police his badge stopped the bullet. The badge was damaged and empty shell casings from Kolstad's weapon were found in the street.
"Our detective division conducted an extensive investigation into the incident and concluded that Kolstad’s badge was not shot," police said in a statement. "The incident was a fabrication by Bryan Kolstad."
Kolstad resigned from the department April 15 after being on administrative leave following the shooting.
Bedwell said Tuesday evening that investigators aren't sure why Kolstad would make up the story.
"The only person who knows is him and he's not telling us," Bedwell said.
Kolstad's arrest follows an unrelated hit-and-run crash in March in Metro Police jurisdiction.
On March 9 while on administrative leave, Kolstad was cited by Metro for his involvement in the crash. The hit-and-run occurred at Alluring Avenue and Tapestry Park Street in the northwest Las Vegas Valley, Metro spokesman Jay Rivera said at the time.
Rivera said Kolstad hit a parked, black Dodge pickup truck and failed to leave his contact information for the driver. Traffic officers then went to Kolstad’s home, where they found evidence of his involvement, Rivera said.
Kolstad began his career with North Las Vegas Police in September 2002. He was in uniformed patrol for his entire employment.