Thursday, May 26 2011 10:20 AM EDT2011-05-26 14:20:32 GMT
Court Marshal Travis Best pleaded guilty to conspiracy for an off-duty incident involving his neighbor and Best's firearm. Though best is currently on probation, he has returned to his post in Justice Court 14. What we don't know is why.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- A peace officer sworn to protect the safety of the Clark County courthouse has his own date with a judge next week as a criminal defendant.
The I-Team has learned Marshal Travis Best told police he held a neighbor at gunpoint to stop him from speeding. The incident happened last June. According to a police report, Travis Best was initially cited -- though not arrested -- on a felony weapons charge. Since then, the case has slowly moved its way through the courts where Best remains -- armed -- and on the job.
The civil docket in Justice Court 14 rarely poses much of a security threat yet Marshal Travis Best appears ready, if need be, to preserve order in the court.
In sharp contrast to the professional protector, Greg Ordaz tells the I-Team, he knows Best as an unprovoked assailant. He says Best held a gun to his head last June in his own west side neighborhood.
"I kept thinking I was getting car jacked. He walked up with a hood on, his gun pointed out sideways like he's a gangster or a thug. And at no time was there a badge, or that he even identified himself," said Greg Ordaz.
He explains he slowed his 1994 Mercedes sedan as he rounded the corner over a speed bump and found a group of people in the street. He says a man broke from the crowd and approached him with his arm extended. Believing the man needed help, Ordaz stopped.
"When I realize it's a gun at my head I said, 'What's going on?' He tells me, 'You know, get out of your car.' And I'm a little bit disoriented so I'm telling him I'm not getting out of my car, 'What's going on?' And he's like, 'Move and I'll kill you.' And that's all he kept repeating, said Ordaz.
In a statement to police, Best claims he tried to stop Ordaz from speeding by first displaying his badge and then by yelling. "This is all fictitious," Ordaz said.
When the car slowed, but didn't stop, Best says he drew his gun and ordered Ordaz from the vehicle. When he refused, according to the report, Best called police and kept Ordaz at gunpoint until they arrived. When they did, officers cited Best, not Ordaz, with a felony weapons charge.
"This kid was showing off, that's all I can think that it was. He was showing off," Ordaz said.
In a subsequent statement to the courts, Best notes he had "immediate concerns" Ordaz would hit a group of teenagers in the street. County policy prohibits marshal's from engaging in law enforcement activity off-duty unless necessary to prevent injury or death.
Calling the incident a personnel matter, court administrators declined to comment. They did confirm that Best remains on duty.
"Travis Best is a terrorist against the common citizens of Las Vegas. Because if he wasn't he'd be under the same laws that you and I live under. He's not," Ordaz said.
Best is scheduled to stand on the other side of the bench facing a reduced charge of conspiracy to commit a crime which is a gross misdemeanor. Conviction could mean an end to his career.
Ordaz went to court Wednesday for a scheduled hearing in the case. It was postponed. While he was there, Ordaz says he tried to file a Temporary Restraining order against Best. After being sent to the wrong courthouse, Ordaz was removed from the building when he returned to the Regional Justice Center for the second time. The marshal's say they escorted Ordaz out after he became argumentative when they wouldn't let him bring a handcuff key through security.
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