Gardnerville man arrested for battery on officer, DUI, possession after leading deputies on chase |

Gardnerville man arrested for battery on officer, DUI, possession after leading deputies on chase

by Merrie Leininger

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office wants to send a message to the community after a weekend chase left five people injured and property damage in its wake.

Anthony Charles Cervantes, 36, of the Ranchos, was arrested late Friday night after leaving the scene of a car accident and leading officers on a chase through the Ranchos. Sgt. Lance Modispatcher of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said he feels Cervantes would be a perfect candiate for the habitual offender sentence enhancement which would add 5-20 additional years to what ever sentance he recieves in this case.

“There’s no reason for this to be happening when he’s already demonstrated his attitude and lack of respect for the law,” Modsipacher said, referring to Cervantes past run-ins with the law.

n Friday chase. The victim of the auto accident called police with Cervantes’ license plate number when he left the scene at Highway 395 and Mica Drive in North County.

An officer waited near Cervantes’ home, witnessed him drive through a stop sign at the intersection of Tillman Lane and Kimmerling Road and pulled him over.

After the officer administered the drunk driving tests and told Cervantes he had decided to place him under arrest, Cervantes pushed the officer down, got back into his car and drove off, according to the police report.

He was chased by the original deputy and an additional three who joined the pursuit.

The four deputies witnessed Cervantes hit a tree and a fence at the intersection of Robin Street and Kimmerling. He continued to drive on and then collided with a car parked on Robin.

After that collision, he got out of the car and ran. Four officers had to fight him and spray him with pepper spray to subdue him.

After the deputies and Cervantes were taken to Carson Valley Medical Center for treatment of scrapes and bruises, officers found marijuana and scales in his car, according to the police report.

n Charges. According to court documents filed by Chief Criminal Deputy District Attorney Kristine Brown, Cervantes is being charged with eluding a peace officer, a felony; possession of a controlled substance, a felony; battery on an officer, a gross misdemeanor; DUI, a misdemeanor; resisting a public officer, a misdemeanor; and no proof of insurance, a misdemeanor.

He was placed on a no-bail hold in jail because he is on parole, according to booking documents. Tod Young was appointed as his attorney.

Modispacher said the department is upset whenever one of its officers is injured, but the number of injuries and property damage caused by this incident was inexcusable, he said.

“The whole thing costs you and me a lot of money,” Modispacher said. “There were injuries and damage to property and a similar thing happened in ’91.”

According to court documents from the 1991 case, Cervantes fled from officers after breaking into the Green Valley Garden Center. While a deputy was attempting to place him under arrest, Cervantes punched him in the face.

n Habitual criminal. Modispacher said Cervantes fits the definition of a habitual criminal.

“We have been actively dealing with Cervantes for 15 years now. The only time between 1984 and now when we have not was when he was in prison. Otherwise, we are constantly chasing him,” Modispacher said. “He is a known burglar and has been convicted of several felonies in this county alone. He has an extensive criminal record with this agency and other agencies.”

Cervantes was convicted in July 1991 of burglary and given a 10-year prison sentence. The assault on a peace officer and interfering with a public officer charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to court documents.

More recently, he was convicted of contempt of court for not appearing on a traffic citation in 1998.

He has also spent time in prison in 1985 and 1988 for burglary.

Modispacher said it is past time for Cervantes to be tried as a habitual criminal.

“Our system is in the habit of attempting to punish people, hoping they will learn their lesson, but some people need to be in prison just to protect the public,” he said.

The habitual criminal law adds 5-20 years onto a sentence if someone is convicted of a category B felony and has two previous felony convictions in this state or another; or if the person has been previously convicted three time of misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors involving fraud or intent to defraud.

DA Brown said she has not considered charging him as a habitual criminal at this point in the proceedings because that is dealt with during sentencing.

Cervantes is scheduled to have an arraignment in East Fork Justice Court 2 p.m. Wednesday.