STATELINE, Nev. — A California man who allegedly set off a loud explosion early Tuesday morning in the casino corridor was arrested on multiple charges including drugs and reckless endangerment.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office personnel were already at a Stateline casino at about 1:30 a.m. conducting a theft investigation when an officer heard a loud explosion outside the building. The officer looked outside and saw several pedestrians on U.S. Highway 50 moving in the same direction as if trying to stay away from something, said a sheriff’s office report.
The officer quickly wrapped up the theft investigation and arrived on scene and was immediately flagged down by a pair of employees from Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger who witnessed the event. They told authorities that a man threw some form of explosive, that looked like a stick of dynamite, in the middle of the highway near a Harrah’s Lake Tahoe entrance before running away.
The witnesses said they were shocked by the explosion and the sound was so loud they could feel the concussion wave hit them and also saw several people confused and rattled.
Officers observed signs of discoloration on the asphalt and a slight smell of what appeared to be burned pyrotechnics powder, said the report.
Officers then asked Harrah’s for surveillance video which recorded the incident and showed the suspect accompanied by another man walking along U.S. 50. The suspect stopped to speak to an unknown male while the other man kept walking.
The suspect appeared to light something then ran away with a trail of smoke behind him. He then stopped and threw what turned out to be a M1000 firecracker into the street. M1000 firecrackers are illegal to manufacture or possess in the country without a proper license.
The item bounced once and exploded creating a loud sound and a big cloud of smoke.
After verifying the suspect’s identity, a search was started. Surveillance from Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa showed the suspect entering the property and was likely a guest.
While searching for the suspect, officers encountered the man the suspect was walking with in the Montbleu parking garage and questioned him. He said he walked away from the suspect because he did not want to be involved.
In the meantime, another deputy located the suspect in a gray Mercedes in the same parking lot.
Dean Black, 24, was arrested and booked into the Stateline jail for possession of cocaine, unlawful use of fireworks, provoke breach of peace and reckless endangerment. As of Tuesday afternoon, Black was no longer in custody, according to jail officials.
Before transporting Black, a body search discovered 26.3 grams of cocaine in a medium-sized bag that Black said was not his.
Black also told deputies that he got the firecracker from the unknown male on video by trading some cannabis.