Las Vegas, NV – A retired Connecticut state trooper died after being punched by a man while walking on the Las Vegas Strip over the weekend, according to police.
Retired Connecticut State Police (CSP) Trooper Thomas Driscoll, 57, and Nava Fuehrer were walking across a pedestrian bridge between Bally’s and The Cromwell at approximately 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 28, when they passed by a group of men, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
One of the members of the group, later identified as 33-year-old Brandon Leath, made a comment about Fuehrer and Driscoll having walked through their group, according to a report released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) on Monday.
A moment later, Leath allegedly ran towards the couple and headed down a flight of stairs to wait for them as they made their way down an escalator, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
As Driscoll and Fuehrer reached the bottom of the escalator, Leath “set down his backpack and took a fighting stance,” according to the police report.
Investigators said Leath advanced on the couple and threw a single punch at the retired trooper, hitting him in the face, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Driscoll fell backwards onto the pavement, where he remained still, according to police.
Officers monitoring surveillance footage in the area saw the attack unfold, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
They broadcasted a description of the suspect, who was quickly apprehended by LVMPD near The Mirage.
Leath was transported to the police station, where he allegedly denied having had any contact with Driscoll, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Driscoll was rushed to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about one hour after the attack.
According to the coroner’s office, the retired trooper died from blunt-force cranciocervical injury to the base of his skull, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The coroner ruled his death a homicide.
Leath was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on a murder charge, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
He is being held without bail and is due to appear in court on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
Another man Leath allegedly assaulted told WFSB that he and his employer have called the LVMPD on Leath at least eight times in the past two months.
The unnamed victim, who works at an apartment complex, claimed Leath knocked him unconscious inside a convenience store, leaving him with persistent headaches and blurred vision.
Workers at the same apartment complex said Leath has repeatedly broken into one of their units, claiming it belongs to him, WFSB reported.
“I walked inside the unit vacant unit that he was squatting in … he ran down the stairs scaring the daylights out of me … I ran out the unit called 9-1-1,” a staff member told WFSB. “I have a tenant moving out now because he tried to sexually assault her in a dark parking lot.”
One employee claimed LVMPD has not responded to all the calls they have made regarding Leath.
“I waited six, seven hours for Metro and I just ended up leaving,” the employee told WFSB.
He said Leath also threatened him with a screwdriver on one occasion.
The employees described the suspect as a “ticking time bomb,” WFSB reported.
The apartment complex ultimately ended up investing in a $6,000 security camera system to help watch for Leath after employees threatened to quit it something wasn’t done, the employee told WFSB.
Driscoll served the CSP for 22 years, spending most of his career on patrol at Troop H in Hartford and Troop B in North Canaan, WCSH reported.
He also spent time serving at Bradley Airport, the CSP said in a statement to the news outlet.
“It saddens us to hear that he died after being assaulted,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”