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Attorney wants mental evaluation for high-speed chase suspect

The attorney for the man who commandeered a Nye County Sheriff’s cruiser and led deputies on a brief high-speed pursuit to the Nye County courthouse wants to waive an upcoming preliminary hearing and have his client mentally evaluated.

Pahrump resident Charles David Plinske was arrested in front of the Nye County courthouse last October after wrestling with deputies and taunting them to shoot him.

Public defender Nathan Gent told Judge Kent Jasperson that he would like his client to visit Lake’s Crossing in Sparks, Nevada for a mental evaluation before proceeding further, much to the chagrin of his client.

The Northern Nevada facility is the state’s only center for evaluating the competency of offenders referred by the court system.

“My client is not happy with that,” Gent said. “He does not want to sign the conditional waiver of the preliminary hearing and as such, I’m going to sign it for him on his behalf. It’s not my choice, but it’s something the law requires we have to do.”

Plinske told Jasperson that he didn’t want to make the drive up to Sparks for his mental evaluation.

“I’ve offered to go to behavioral health and I’ve offered to pay for it in the state of Nevada,” Plinske said. “I don’t want to drive to a state facility to willingly check myself in and wait for a non-independent study of what they say happened, after the things that already happened to me sir. I want an outside source.”

Jasperson told Plinske the preliminary waiver is just a conditional waiver.

“You are only being waived up to the district court for the purpose of a competency evaluation,” he said. “Once the competency evaluation is done and completed, I believe you will be coming back here for whatever other proceedings that will be necessary and that can all be discussed with the district court judge.”

Jasperson accepted the conditional waiver for the preliminary hearing and ordered Plinske bound over to district court.

Plinske is scheduled to return to court on May 29, at 9 a.m.

Plinske was arrested October 18 when he was caught on radar traveling 92 mph in front of the Saddle West Hotel and Casino on Highway 160, a 35 mph posted zone.

According to the arrest report, Plinske waved at the sheriff’s deputy as the two passed traveling in opposite directions.

After making a U-turn, the police officer witnessed the suspect drive through the red light at State Route 372. Plinske eventually yielded to police lights where he pulled over on Highway 160 near Basin Avenue.

According to the arrest report, Plinske emerged from his black SUV and started moving towards two sheriff’s deputies refusing their commands.

“The suspect told both deputies several times to shoot him,” the report said.

After being tased to no apparent affect, Plinske jumped into one of the deputy’s vehicles and sped off.

Authorities said Plinske was combative with the officers before commandeering the deputy’s marked vehicle and fled to the courthouse.

The deputy who initiated the traffic stop used Plinske’s vehicle to chase him down.

Plinske led police to the Ian Deutch Justice Complex, 1520 E. Basin Ave., where several people were in the parking lot due to the first day of early voting.

Plinske then exited the police car and began coming toward a deputy, all the while refusing commands according to the report.

Plinske was pepper-sprayed, then wrestled to the ground where the officer and “concerned citizens” were able to subdue him.

Plinske had another encounter with local law enforcement about a week prior to the incident.

He was seen yelling profanities at Assistant Sheriff and sheriff’s candidate Rick Marshall during a candidates’ debate Oct. 9 hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He was asked to leave another candidates’ forum Oct. 15 when he became visibly agitated while asking a question of sheriff’s candidate Sharon Wehrly.

“We’ve had contact with this individual during traffic stops multiple times where he showed a level of threat against deputies,” former Sheriff Tony DeMeo said at the time. “He’s been known to act in a state that would be called irrational, and that was the state he displayed during the incident, which led to his arrest.”

Plinske faces numerous felony charges including grand larceny auto, possession of a stolen vehicle, intimidating a police officer and battery on a police officer.

He remains free on a $20,000 bond.

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