Two teenagers have been charged with murder on allegations of mowing down a former Bell, California, police chief with a car while he was riding his bicycle in Las Vegas, authorities said.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department alleged at a news conference Tuesday that the two suspects had been involved in at least three hit-and-run incidents on the morning of Aug. 14, including the killing of 64-year-old Andreas Probst.
The teens have been booked into juvenile hall on charges of murder. Their identities have not been released.
Probst served with the Bell Police Department in Los Angeles County for 24 years, the last four as the chief, before leaving in 2009.
On Aug. 14 at about 5:28 a.m., the suspects were joyriding in a vehicle and hit a 72-year-old male bicyclist near Fort Apache and Washburn roads, west of Highway 95, Las Vegas Deputy Chief Nick Farese said Tuesday at the news conference.
The suspects then drove east to the other side of Highway 95 and hit a white Toyota Corolla, injuring its driver, according to authorities.
The suspects continued on Tenya Road, Farese said, where they saw Probst cycling in the bike lane and intentionally hit him while videotaping the incident in what the deputy chief called an “appalling” and “cowardly act.”
The teenagers laughed as they drove off, Farese said, leaving Probst “for dead on the side of the road.”
The car suspected of hitting Probst was recovered after police got a call about multiple stolen cars being involved in an accident at James Bilbray Drive and Balzar Avenue, according to Farese. Police arrested the 17-year-old who was driving the vehicle. A passenger fled the scene, but officers captured video of him that showed his tattoos and clothing.
On Aug. 29, a student showed a school resource officer a video of the hit-and-run that had killed Probst. Homicide detectives then canvassed the area near the crime scene, conducted witness interviews, gathered surveillance video and identified the second suspect, arresting him on Tuesday and executing a search warrant.
The video of Probst’s killing, which has circulated online, shows the teens approaching Probst in their car from behind and laughing as they ram into his bicycle, causing Probst to hit the vehicle’s hood and windshield. Probst is last seen in the video lying on the ground near the curb.
Clark County Dist. Atty. Steve Wolfson said at the news conference that he wanted to charge both teenagers as adults.
“Justice will be served in this case,” he added.
At the news conference, Taylor Probst described her father, who was known as Andy, as a man of honor who had worked in law enforcement for 35 years.
“We are devastated by the senseless murder of Andy,” she said. “Andy’s life was robbed by two individuals who did not believe that the lives of others matter.”
In 2011, Probst told The Times that he had been forced to retire as police chief in 2009 by Bell’s city administrator at the time, Robert Rizzo, who would later be sentenced to 12 years in state prison for his involvement in a corruption scandal that rocked Bell, one of L.A. County’s poorest cities.
“If Rizzo wanted to get rid of you, he’d make some way to pay you off and make it beneficial for you financially,” Probst said in 2011. “Too many people I can name retired on medical. Bob took care of them.”
Probst and another police chief told The Times that Rizzo had proposed retirement deals to minimize taxes for the retiree and lower payments for the city.
Probst also taught criminal justice, security and public administration as an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix.
He most recently worked as director of global security for the holding company IAC. He attended the University of Phoenix and received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of La Verne.
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