Las Vegas man found asleep behind wheel accused of ramming 2 police cars before freeway chase

Las Vegas man found asleep behind wheel accused of ramming 2 police cars before freeway chase

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Man not arrested for several days, was wanted on bench warrant for skipping court

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man found asleep behind the wheel of a stolen car is accused of ramming two police cruisers before leading troopers on a chase on the 215 Beltway, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.

Police arrested Thorin Beasley, 29, six days after the incident, documents said.

On Thursday, Dec. 22, Nevada State Police Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to a call for a report of a driver stopped on an off-ramp who was slumped over the steering wheel, documents said. The exact location was the eastbound off-ramp on the 215 Beltway at St. Rose Parkway.

A witness told troopers the driver was in an SUV that was stopped in a turn lane. She saw a man, who she believed was about 40 years old, slumped over in the driver’s seat, police said. The woman got out of her car and knocked on the driver’s window, but the driver did not respond. She then called 911.

A second person said he was driving on the off-ramp when he saw the other driver slumped over, police said. He too called 911.

A trooper arrived to the off-ramp, finding the SUV in the middle of the road and several cars behind it honking their horns, documents said. That trooper also noticed the driver slumped over in the driver’s seat with the car’s engine running.

A second trooper arrived a minute later. Both troopers then attempted to get the driver’s attention by knocking on the vehicle’s windows, documents said.

“Soon after, I observed the driver to move his head and open his eyes, at which point he moved his head towards the windows and made eye contact with me,” the trooper wrote in court documents. “I gave him verbal commands to shut the engine. The driver made flustered hand movements by moving his hands towards the driver’s door controls and toward the center console in a frantic manner. The driver was also looking around towards his left, his right, and looking down at the center console.”

The trooper said he took the driver’s actions as an attempt to drive off.

A minute later, as more troopers arrived, the driver began to move the car forward, striking the front of a state police cruiser, police said. A trooper then broke the driver’s window with a baton.

The driver then put the car in reverse, striking another patrol vehicle, police said. The driver hit the car with enough force to move the patrol car backward by 4 feet, police said.

Several troopers then pointed their handguns toward the driver to get him to exit his vehicle. The driver then drove off on St. Rose Parkway, police said. A trooper then initiated a chase down the road.

The chase continued onto the 215 Beltway. Troopers ended the pursuit due to the driver’s high speeds.

Troopers later ran the SUV’s license plate, finding it matched a different car. Because of this, troopers could not immediately identify the man. Troopers later determined the SUV was stolen in September.

The next day, Las Vegas Metro police contacted state police to say they recognized the driver as Beasley. Troopers attempted to locate Beasley at an address but were unsuccessful.

On Dec. 28, Metro police detained Beasley in the northeast valley after receiving information from an undercover informant, troopers said. Troopers later located the car involved, they said.

Nevada State Police did not issue a news release about the incident.

Beasley originally faced more than a dozen felonies. As of Thursday, the Clark County District’s Attorney’s Office was only moving forward on one charge of evading police.

In 2020, Beasley faced a charge of trafficking methamphetamine, records showed. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop charges in another charge of eluding police and robbery, records showed.

Beasley failed to appear for a July sentencing and a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. Judge Holly Stoberski denied Beasley bail due to the active bench warrant for Beasley’s arrest.

After this most recent arrest, Metro police charged Beasley with drug possession.

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