LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — On January 18 just before 11 a.m., Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were called to the scene of a three-car crash on Desert Inn Road west of Paradise Road.
Police also had company.
Body-worn camera footage from the Metro traffic officer shows him pulling his motorcycle up next to a CCSD Police car. The officer driving says, “We’re trying to get a good location, but we can’t find them.”
At first, there’s confusion about what happened, who was involved, and who called police.
13 Investigates learned Dr. Jesus Jara was involved in the accident as a passenger — but when police found the scene, Jara was gone.
His assistant, Joe Caruso, was driving the car that caused the crash.
On the body camera video, Caruso can be heard on the phone with Jara when police were collecting information.
We asked CCSD why Jara left when all the other drivers and passengers remained on scene. They sent us the following statement:
But there were some injuries.
The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe that Caruso was driving is part of the CCSD Police vehicle fleet.
And the police report shows he was at fault.
The school district’s Tahoe sustained major damage. Metro noted that every air bag went off, and it eventually had to be towed from the scene.
CCSD Police Lt. Mitch Maciszak can be seen on body camera video working to wrench open the passenger door in order to get registration and insurance information out of the glove box.
Though Metro was in charge of the call, with just one motorcycle officer responding, multiple school police officers, lieutenants, and even Chief Henry Blackeye showed up on the scene.
There’s no mention of Dr. Jara’s presence at the time of the crash in Metro’s report.
Metro says that’s because when the traffic officer arrived and spoke to the people involved, Jara wasn’t there, “and no one on scene stated he was involved.”
13 Investigates asked the district how Jara left and who picked him up. We asked what meeting was he going to and what business he and Caruso were on at the time. We asked what the procedure is for checking out a district vehicle. And we asked how much this crash is going to cost between the damage to the district’s car and the other two cars that were hit.
We are still waiting on answers.
The superintendent used to get a car allowance, but that perk was removed from his contract.
CCSD said it authorizes employee transportation by district-owned vehicles or private vehicles when employees have to travel on district business. If they drive their own cars, they can get reimbursed for their mileage.
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