Some locals are putting their hopes in the Washoe County Sheriff’s office, which has been charged with investigating a violent early morning incident on May 5 involving the Reno Police Department.
In that incident, two men—22-year-old Jacob Finn and 23-year-old Andres Meza—were involved in a dispute with Reno police officers in the Holcomb/Ryland neighborhood. Police said they responded to reports of burglary and assault and learned that a 58-year-old man had been beaten. They arrested Finn, and Meza was hospitalized in intensive care. Police claimed the two resisted arrest and Meza was reported by police to be holding a hammer. A Tazer and nightstick were used against Meza. It is not known whether he will be arrested following his hospitalization.
Some advocates for the two men have objected to the version of the incident released by police.
This version was posted on Facebook: “Shawn Palomares: Last night the cops broke into my old home most people know as ‘Fort Ryland’, and assaulted my friends Nick Meza and Jacob Finn. They were suspicious about Jacob, so they broke in and beat him with a club. Nick pulled out his phone and tried to record Jacob being beaten. The police didn’t like that Nick was videotaping them. They used their clubs and hit Nick in the face and broke his nose. When my friend Valentine tried to reason with them, one police officer pulled out their gun and pointed it at him. They arrested both my friends Nick and Jacob. Nick only videotaped what happened and was beaten and arrested. Jacob is in jail, Nick is in the ICU’- Nathan Lachner.”
It is not apparent from this text whether the person who wrote it was physically present or is repeating events described to him.
At a May 7 fundraiser for the two men, organizers and attendees declined to describe what happened on May 5. Drummer Jordan of the band ADHDOD said he knew nothing of the incident and that his group had merely been engaged for the fundraiser.
Kristin Rodriguez has been busy on social media urging people who were present to contact sheriff’s investigators, resulting in online dialogue like this:
Michael Maxwell: “Valentine and Sosa are the only ones who were there other than nick and tarzan.”
Kristin Rodriguez: “I wasn’t able to get ahold of valentine but idk sosa or dani so plz feel free to pass the info along if they don’t already have it!”
Michael Maxwell: “They’re all in direct contact with the detective from what I know.”
Kristin Rodriguez: “OK, good! Just wanted to make sure everyone had the resources they need since I know a couple people reached out to the news outlets & they’re usually useless.”
A video of the incident has been posted, but it is so shrouded in darkness it is difficult to say whether it supports one side or the other. No hammer appears to be in the footage.
Attempts to learn if the officers had a warrant before entering the building and how many people have contacted the sheriff’s department with information so far were unsuccessful.
Anyone with information to offer can contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detective division at 328-3320 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.