Parking Officer Gives Chase, Calls for Backup

RENO, NV - The actions of a Reno Parking Enforcement Officer are under review, after a road rage incident escalates into a standoff in a Northwest neighborhood. The off-duty city employee was angered during an encounter with another driver. Driving an unmarked personal vehicle, he chased the other driver to a home on Nicholette Drive.

According to police, the parking enforcement officer got out of his car. He reached back inside his car to grab a city issued radio to ask for backup. The other driver and the homeowner mistook the action, thinking he was reaching for a gun. Moments later, police say, the homeowner, appeared in the doorway with a weapon.

Neighbors say police swarmed the normally quiet street to control the situation. Reno Police Officers were on scene for about an hour before the misunderstanding was cleared up. In the end no citations were issued, and no arrests were made. Still, the question remains, should the parking enforcement officer have used his radio, while off duty, to settle a traffic issue? RPD Commander Jon Catalano says the event will be investigated. "Because it involved an employee we're going to do an internal affairs investigation, and that’s an administrative investigation,” he says.

Local law enforcement agencies say no one should ever give chase following a road rage incident. "How do you know that person isn't armed, isn't a felon,” warns NHP Trooper Chuck Allen. “This event may be enough to send them over the edge." Instead, Commander Catalano says if you get into a road rage situation take a deep breath and disengage. Use your cell phone to report reckless drivers. Calling in the plate number of a dangerous driver creates a permanent record, which will appear the next time they are pulled over.

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