For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorneys’ Office has announced that felony charges have been filed in connection with last Saturday’s Downtown Reno riots. The Reno Police Department previously released information on the arrests, which were the result of the efforts of several regional law enforcement teams from Reno and Sparks Police Departments, as well as the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives and crime analysts with the Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center (NNRIC), the Regional Gang Unit (RGU), Regional Crime Suppression Team (CSU) and Regional Narcotics Units were able to identify several suspects and arrested them for various offenses. The case was then submitted to this office and the following formal criminal charges have been filed by Chief Deputy District Attorney Zach Young. Additional charges may be filed against these suspects, as the investigation is on-going. In addition, other suspects have been identified and additional defendants are likely to be charged in connection with the riots.
Wesley Ellis Compton, 25 from Reno, Lionel Jimenez, 25 from Sparks and Ekepati Niko Taua, 28 from Reno have been charged with one count of Destruction of Property (Felony) having a value of $5,000 or more. These charges allege that all three defendants caused significant and costly damage to Reno City Hall, specifically broken windows with an estimated value of over $14,000 each. Taua was also charged with one count of Assault Upon an Officer (Gross Misdemeanor). Compton was also charged with one count of Theft of Property Having a Value of $650.00 or More (Felony) and one count of Destruction of Property having a Value of $250.00 or more (Gross Misdemeanor) alleging he stole a large replica of a Reno Police Department badge from within the Reno Police Department and later broke it into pieces during the riot. A 17-year-old Male Juvenile has also been charged in connection with this case.
In commenting on the charges, District Attorney Chris Hicks said, over the last week, our country has faced extraordinary obstacles spurred by the murder of Mr. George Floyd. This event shocked my conscience and fueled my dedication to equal justice for all. Unfortunately, last weekend rioters chose to steal the memory of Mr. Floyd and the message of peaceful protesters by attacking our community. We are beginning our prosecutions of several of the alleged rioters who have been caught and will handle them swiftly and aggressively.