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December 20, 2014

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The Sun’s March nine: Highlighting last month’s top crimes in Las Vegas

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Metro Police photos

The Sun’s March nine.

March, the saying goes, roars in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. But throughout the month in Las Vegas, crimes were hardly of the gentle lamb variety.

Headlines on crime stories in March include a mother who reportedly told police she drowned her toddler to quell voices, a man accused of getting into a brawl with men from Thunder From Down Under and a restaurant patron who allegedly beat a police officer and told him “I’m going to kill you,” until a bystander intervened.

Here’s a look at nine crimes reported by Metro Police that caught the public’s attention in March:

    • Joey Kadmiri

      Joey Kadmiri, 24, is accused of sneaking backstage March 18 at the Excalibur, burglarizing a locker room and pulling a gun on a group of dancers in the Thunder From Down Under all-male strip revue.

      Joey Kadmiri

      Joey Kadmiri

      The performers confronted Kadmiri when they noticed him trying to steal some of the show’s props and costumes, according to a Metro arrest report. A struggle ensued. Police say Kadmiri pulled out a handgun and put it to the head of one of the dancers. Before Kadmiri pulled the trigger, one of the dancers pushed the gun away. The spent round hit a wall, the gun skidded to the floor and the dancers subdued Kadmiri, the arrest report said.

      Kadmiri is charged in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon, burglary while in possession of a firearm, six counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm or other deadly weapon and discharge of a firearm within a structure.

      He is scheduled to be back in court Monday for a preliminary hearing and remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail, according to jail records.

    • Joseph Lucero

      Metro Police closed its investigation into a shooting that spiraled into a pileup on the 215 Beltway after police discovered the prime suspect was dead.

      Joseph Lucero from a 2012 arrest

      Joseph Lucero from a 2012 arrest

      Police said Joseph Lucero, 27, shot 23-year-old Zachary Girdner, of Henderson, on March 13 after an argument at Lucero’s home at an apartment complex south of McCarran International Airport.

      Girdner, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, left in his Jeep and then crashed into three cars on the 215 Beltway off-ramp at Eastern Avenue, police said. Girdner died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

      Police publicly identified Lucero as their suspect on March 14. Police discovered Lucero’s body early March 19 in the 1900 block of East Tropicana Avenue. The cause of Lucero’s death is pending and will be announced by the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

    • Gary Capusang

      Gary Casupang, 59, faces kidnapping and extortion charges in a bizarre incident involving a 22-year-old woman he paid for sex and the woman’s baby, according to a Metro Police report.

      Gary Casupang

      Gary Casupang

      The woman had left her baby in Casupang’s care on March 17 so she could meet with her heroin dealer, but as Casupang waited he grew angry, according to the report. He drove off and threatened via a text message to drop the baby off at Child Protective Services, a police station or with the woman’s mother if she didn’t meet Casupang at a nearby intersection.

      The woman met Casupang and, police say, he forced her into his car. When the car stopped at an intersection, the woman tried to flee with her baby , but Casupang caught up to them. Two homeless people rescued the woman and the woman called her mother to come and pick up her and her baby, according to the report.

      When the woman arrived home, her house was on fire. Casupang was in the yard, trying to contain the fire with a water hose, the report said.

      No one has been arrested in connection with the fire, which ended up killing three dogs and a parrot.

      Casupang, however, has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, extortion, first-degree kidnapping of a minor and attempt kidnapping. He is due back in Las Vegas Township Justice Court on April 14 for a preliminary hearing.

      Casupang remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail, according to jail records.

    • Edward Edgerton

      Edward Edgerton told police he and his girlfriend, Tyanna Reynolds, 24, agreed that spanking was an acceptable punishment when one of them “messed up” in their relationship.

      Edward Edgerton

      Edward Edgerton

      But on March 15, after an argument, Reynolds wound up dead.

      Edgerton, 26, told detectives he had used a belt to spank Reynolds after the fight. Afterward, Edgerton called 911 when, he told police, Reynolds passed out in the shower. She was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where she died.

      The Clark County Coroner’s Office ruled Reynolds’ death was the result of a beating.

      Edgerton’s next court date is May 16 for a preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Township Justice Court. He remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail, according to jail records.

    • Tannika Queen

      On two occasions, the 15-year-old’s answer to his father’s questions included the name “Bella.”

      Tanikka Queen

      Tanikka Queen

      The father, who didn’t know “Bella” was a substitute teacher, notified authorities. The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Tanikka S. Queen, a long-term substitute teacher in the Clark County School District.

      Now, Queen, 22, Las Vegas, is charged with 29 criminal counts that stem from an alleged relationship with the 15-year-old Hyde Park Middle School student, including 12 counts of first-degree kidnapping, multiple counts of luring a child to engage in a sex act and statutory sexual seduction.

      District officials said Queen had been teaching as a substitute in the district for about 13 months.

      Queen is due April 11 for a preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Township Justice Court.

      She remains in Clark County Detention Center on a $100,000 bail, according to jail records.

    • Christine Allen

      The voices in her head, Christine Allen reportedly told police, forced her to drown her 3-year-old son, Noah Lane Allen, on March 8.

      Christine Allen

      Christine Allen

      According to a Metro Police Report, the boy was taking a bath when, Allen told police, it “was like a demon inside of me took over.” She held the boy’s head under water. He struggled and told his mother he didn’t want to go swimming, but Allen pushed the boy’s head back under the surface.

      Allen, who was charged with open murder, is due back in Las Vegas Township Justice Court on June 17 for a preliminary hearing. She remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail, according to jail records.

    • Jason Mahe

      Jason Mahe took a friend’s car, tried to pass off counterfeit money and wound up being shot in what authorities called an attempted “suicide by cop” on March 4, according to Metro Police.

      Jason Mahe

      Jason Mahe

      Now, Mahe, 29, is charged with grand larceny auto, possession of burglary tools and resisting a public officer.

      In a statement after the shooting , police said Mahe tried to pass counterfeit money at a 7-Eleven store near North Rancho Road and Vegas Drive and then fled to nearby Dotty’s casino, where three officers caught up to him. Mahe allegedly pulled out a gun and refused to drop it when police instructed him to do so.

      The officers then shot at Mahe, striking him several times. He was rushed to University Medical Center in critical condition.

      Mahe was wanted in Ohio for a parole violation and was also booked for the fugitive warrant.

      Mahe’s next court date is scheduled for Thursday in Las Vegas Township Justice Court.

      Mahe remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail, according to jail records.

    • Gary Richard Adair Jr.

      At first, troopers thought Gary Richard Adair Jr. had suffered a diabetic episode on St. Patrick’s Day that resulted in the death of a man trying to fix a flat tire on U.S. 95.

      Gary Richard Adair Jr.

      Gary Richard Adair Jr.

      Soon thereafter, though, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers said they determined Adair, 22, was under the influence of heroin and prescription painkillers when his vehicle struck and killed Kadar Brown, 38, of Las Vegas.

      The deadly accident happened at 5:36 p.m. March 17 in the southbound lanes of the highway near the Summerlin Parkway exit.

      A preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Township Justice Court for Adair is scheduled for May 13.

      Meanwhile, Adair remains in Clark County Detention Center on a $200,000 bail, according to jail records.

    • Curtis Leigh Traupman

      Curtis Leigh Traupman could have left the restaurant a free man.

      Curtis Traupman

      Curtis Traupman

      Instead, Traupman, 39, is charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, resisting a public officer with a firearm and battery on a protected person after allegedly becoming violent with a police officer who was escorting him out of a Jack in the Box.

      The incident happened about 6 a.m. March 21 at the fast-food restaurant in the 6400 block of Boulder Highway, near East Russell Road.

      Police responded to Jack in the Box to investigate reports of a man, later identified as Traupman, yelling at employees. The officer tried to walk Traupman out of the restaurant, telling he was not under arrest, when the Traupman grew violent, according to a Metro Police report. As the officer tried to handcuff him, Traupman knocked the officer to the ground, began punching him and tried to grab his firearm, according to the report.

      “I’m going to kill you,” Traupman allegedly told the officer.

      The officer, with the help of a bystander regained control of the situation and arrested Traupman, according to the report.

      Traupman’s next court date is Thursday in Las Vegas Township Justice Court.

      He remains in Clark County Detention Center on a $50,000.00 bail, according to jail records.

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