New Details Emerge in Eldorado Murder Investigation
Reno police have arrested an Eldorado casino security officer they say used an excessive amount of bodily force against another man, killing him last December.
According to a police affidavit dated April 10, 2014, police officers were called to the casino's security office for two men being detained for alleged trespassing. While on scene, police noticed one of the two men, Victor Victorio- Acevedo was having issues breathing. He was taken to Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery and later died.
During the investigation detectives learned from several people named in the affidavit that Victorio-Acevedo had previously posted negative comments about the door hosts at BuBinga Lounge inside the casino. Victorio-Acevedo denied the Facebook posting each time he was asked about it by BuBinga staff.
During an investigation, authorities learned that Victorio-Acevedo's brother Alvaro Victorio, was arrested on December 8, 2013 for "spitting in suspect Stefan Johnson's face after an altercation surrounding the return of a suspected fake identification card of a female friend of Alvaro."
Many of the people interviewed – friends and casino employees – stated that after the Victor Victorio-Acevedo, and friends, Cameron Haffey and Carlos Robles, were escorted from the night club as a result of the posting, the group walked to the casino's security office where Robles and Victorio-Acevedo were questioned about trespassing, and if they were previous similar incidents.
While walking to the office, several witnesses saw 24-year-old Johnson grab Victorio-Acevdeo from behind, lift him up off the ground and slam him into the floor. Robles tried to intervene; Haffey was told to leave unless he also wanted to be arrested.
The affidavit states security footage shows "Stefan (Johnson) side-steps a group of unrelated people, moves past Cameron, and grabs onto Victor as Victor's back is to him..." He grabs him "in a bear hug fashion, trapping Victor's arms against his sides."
Johnson's fellow door host the night of December 14, 2013, Taylor Duchesneau, told police in a written statement, "I saw my co-worker escorting the accused out of the club. As they were leaving they repeadly (sic) thretand (sic) us. As we were escorting them out, they refused to leave. Stefan proceeded to take one down and book him. At that point the other male tried to punch Stefan so I grabbed him and took him to the ground. I arrested him and from there we took him to the office."
Johnson gave this statement: "When asked to leave the male suspects became combative and threatened several bouncers. We began escorting the two males out and they threatened additional employees through the casino. When having learned one male had been trespassed before tonight we followed him down the stairs to the mezzanine. In the mezzanine the first male threatened me and we decided to arrest him for trespassing. The males were clearly intoxicated and combative the entire time we tried to escort them out."
During a police investigation, Robles stated that he, Victorio-Acevedo and Haffey drank a few beers while inside the parking garage before going inside the Eldorado. And Haffey mentioned they smoked marijuana also inside the garage.
A few of the witnesses state that Robles tried to swing at Johnson during the actual incident, but missed hitting Johnson.
While inside the office, Robles noticed Victoro-Acevedo was in pain. At the hospital, authorities say Victorio-Acevedo suffered several cardiac arrests and while during surgery, the doctor found "four liters" of his blood inside his abdomen. His liver was also appeared packed and compressed. An autopsy later revealed that Victorio-Acevedo had suffered a "very large" laceration on his liver and bruising on some internal organs.
Many of the witnesses interviewed stated that Victor-Acevedeo talked back to the door hosts while walking to the security office, and one employee even said that his behavior was nothing out of the ordinary for staff, and nothing they didn't hear on a nightly basis.
All but one of the interviews on the incident took place last December.
Investigator David Millsap concludes his involvement with the case with "…It also does not show Stefan attempted to detain Victor by any other non-violent means prior to escalating to the force he did use. There is no information to suggest anyone in Victor's group has ever been trespassed from the Eldorado Casino prior to this incident. The claim that Victor refused to leave is disputed based on the video surveillance…."
On April 10, 2014, an arrest warrant was obtained for Johnson and he was arrested and booked into the Washoe County Jail on murder in the 2nd degree.
Eldorado Hotel-Casino released this statement regarding the investigation:
"We have recently been made aware of the Reno Police Department's press release and a subsequent arrest related to an incident that occurred at the Eldorado Hotel-Casino in the early hours of Sunday, December 15, 2013.
"From the day of the incident and throughout the investigation, the Eldorado has fully cooperated with local law enforcement and we will continue to offer our full cooperation. Given that criminal charges are now pending, the Eldorado is unable to provide further comment at this time."
Written by Kellene Stockwell