A Douglas County sheriff's deputy was in jail on $55,000 bail Friday following an early morning arrest on charges of domestic battery against his wife, driving under the influence, burglary, and coercion.
Sheriff Ron Pierini said Deputy Jason Cypher, 37, a 15-year veteran of the department, was arrested shortly after 1 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 395 and Ironwood Drive in Minden after a witness called the sheriff's office to report an altercation between a man and a woman in a pickup truck.
Cypher was off-duty, Pierini said.
"The preliminary investigation caused officers to believe that Jason Cypher had been involved in a physical confrontation with his wife," said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.
"He also was suspected of operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol," he said.
The burglary and coercion charges stemmed from an allegation that when the victim got into another vehicle to escape, Cypher followed with the intent to hit her and did strike her, according to reports.
The victim was treated for injuries at Carson Valley Medical Center and released, Pierini said.
Pierini said the incident was under investigation by the Douglas County District Attorney's Office and the Nevada Highway Patrol.
He said the district attorney's office was seeking to move adjudication to another jurisdiction.
Pierini said Cypher was on paid leave pending the investigation.
His blood-alcohol content was not released.
State law mandates that a suspect remain in jail for 12 hours following an arrest on domestic battery charges.
If he were to bail out, Cypher would be issued a restraining order to stay away from the victim.
"If he doesn't bail out after the required amount of time, he will be transferred to another facility," Pierini said.
"We take this extremely seriously," the sheriff said. "We've got to go through due process."
Pierini said Cypher, a patrol deputy, had no prior allegations of domestic battery or driving under the influence.
"If he is convicted, Deputy Cypher loses his rights to possess or use any firearms under federal law," Pierini said. "He would never be allowed to be a law enforcement officer in this country."
Violation of state law and department policy and procedures may result in punishment up to termination, Pierini said.
A decision will be made at the conclusion of criminal and administrative investigations, he said.
"My main goal is to handle this fairly," Pierini said. "We clean our own shop and that's the way it is going to be. It's hard on the deputies. It takes away the thought that we're out there working hard. It taints our badge."
Mezzetta said the arrest was difficult for the department.
"It's extremely stressful for the guys on the road when they have to take enforcement action on one of their own," Mezzetta said.