Truck Runs Into Casino, Driver Commits Suicide
The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino was rocked when a Ford pickup slammed into the front entrance and went through the glass doors, causing significant damage to the hotels entrance. Ryan Brown, the driver of the truck, was high on a cocktail of drugs when he deliberately ran his truck into the casino doors. Witnesses say that the F150 looked as if it was going to park with the valet service when it suddenly turned sharply to the right and speed up toward the casino.
Patrons and staff were confused and startled by the earthquake-like crash. One witness told local news it was “like the ceiling was falling down.” The crash took out the large glass entrance doors and severely damaged the marble floor. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
After the accident occurred witnesses say that Ryan Brown jumped out of the truck as if nothing had happened. He seemed to be “out of it,” swinging back and forth looking very unsteady on his feet. He proceeded to get into a fight with some patrons of the casino who quickly overpowered him and handed him over to casino security. He was arrested shortly thereafter. General Manager of The Stratosphere, Paul Hobson, assured guests that this is the first accident of any kind that has occurred on the hotel and casino property. He worked swiftly to have the truck hauled away from the entrance, promising patrons and Las Vegas locals that repairs to the property would not take long.
Officials say that Brown had been high on a mixture of drugs for nearly 6 days straight when the accident occurred. The 40 year old was let go after only a few days time when the prosecution refused to press criminal charges against him. Although no one was hurt in the crash it appeared to be deliberate, making this an easy won case. However, the prosecution’s refusal to press charges ended up having consequences.
But There’s More…
According to officials Brown underwent a mandatory psychological screening when he entered the Las Vegas prison. Brown had allegedly told police that he had wanted to jump off the Stratosphere roof and was “excited” to be on the news. This and the withheld psychological results all point to mental illness being the reason charges were not brought against the 40 year old Indiana native.
No amount of good news, however, could save Ryan Brown from himself. Only about a week after the crash and days after being released from prison without restriction, the man killed himself. He was found in a hotel room, hung from his neck. It appears to investigators that he asphyxiated. He was staying at the Rio Hotel and Casino.
Brown was an electrician native to the state of Indiana. He allegedly struggled with drug problems. In fact, 1 gram of cocaine was found in the ashtray of his silver Ford the very night of the Stratosphere crash. Prior to the Las Vegas arrest he had only been in trouble for one domestic dispute with his wife. It was resolved without charges being made.
The District Attorney office admits that there may have been several mistakes made in Brown’s case. However, under Nevada law mental illness is not grounds for keeping someone detained. They had no choice but to let him go once the prosecution refused to file criminal charges or request for more time.