Former three-term Nevada District 36 Assemblyman Ed Goedhart is still recovering from an assault that occurred at a bar in Amargosa Valley last month.
Goedhart, a Republican who served from 2006-2012, said he popped into the Stateline Saloon for a burger and beer when the incident happened inside the men’s restroom on June 9.
“I had one beer and there was a guy at the bar who said he was new to the valley,” Goedhart said. “He appeared to be in his mid-50s, and he said hello and offered me a beer, which I accepted. He and his wife looked to be pretty inebriated, but I don’t hold ill will at anyone at a bar having a good time.”
Goedhart, 56, said he was in the establishment for roughly a half-hour to 40 minutes before he adjourned himself to the men’s room.
“I don’t know what got into him, but as I was at the urinal doing my business, he came in screaming at me and just started swinging at me,” he said. “Basically, he started assaulting me and I was completely caught off guard because he totally had the drop on me. I was pretty much helpless at that point. I took a few hard hits to the head and I was in a daze and I lost consciousness.”
To the rescue
Goedhart said at that point the bartender and another patron heard the commotion and entered the men’s room.
“They basically rescued me because I was on the floor getting kicked and stomped,” he recalled. “The bartender said that the guy is crazy and told me to leave for my own protection, so I got in my car and went home. I know that they called the sheriff’s office and provided statements. A deputy said he went to my home and knocked on my door that night, but I didn’t hear it.”
Goedhart also said that he learned the man and his wife also left the establishment but returned a short time later, this time, with a firearm.
“I was told that he had a gun in his hand and said ‘where is that SOB?’ I’m going to shoot him,” he said. “The bartender called the cops saying there was a guy at the bar with a gun in his hand and he is threatening to shoot Ed Goedhart. The next morning the police came to my home and I filled out a victim’s statement saying exactly what happened.”
Sheriff’s office response
Additionally, Goedhart said he believed the sheriff’s office initially appeared unconcerned about his situation.
“When I talked to the sheriff’s office, they said they didn’t know whether the severity of the beating would entail enough for them to do much about it,” he said. “I was calling for the Nye County Sheriff’s Office to charge this guy, but they said they needed more medical records from me. They also got a statement from the bartender that he came back with a gun in his hand saying that he was going to kill me. The deputy said that because I wasn’t there on site, at that particular location when he made the threat, and he didn’t point the gun directly at anyone, he didn’t know if there was much to go on.”
Moreover, Goedhart said he felt he was getting victimized twice.
“He was finally arrested about four or five days after the assault,” he said. “I was obviously less than happy that they were moving so slowly and I felt like they were not treating this crime with the severity that it needed to be dealt with.”
As a result, Goedhart reached out to former Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo for consultation on the matter.
DeMeo died unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 9, at the age of 67.
“I asked if I could hire him to be a victim advocate,” he said. “I knew he had a lot of experience in law enforcement and I explained to him the frustration that I was going through. In the conversations that I had with him, he told me that he was very surprised that they were treating this in the manner in which they were. He told me that anytime someone has a gun in their hand and is intoxicated, that is a violation of state and federal laws, and that was enough by itself to arrest the guy. I respected his judgment, which is why I reached out to him. I’ve been beat up a couple of times in my life, but this was a felony assault.”
Goedhart also sought and received a temporary protective order from Beatty Justice of the Peace Gus Sullivan.
“He treated me very nicely and I asked him for a 30-day temporary protective order, which he gave me,” he said. “I also had this individual trespassed off of my property because the guy threatened me. Several other businesses in Amargosa Valley also filed a no-trespass order on this individual.”
Goedhart also said that he learned albeit via “back channels,” why he believes the sheriff’s office appeared to be “dragging their feet,” in relation to the incident.
“It seemed that this whole thing got pushed off the edge of the table,” he said. “I heard through back channels that I kind of rocked some boats and ruffled some feathers when I supported Dennis Hof against the establishment candidate and Dennis won the election. I also engendered some pushback from Nye County when I filed on behalf of Dennis Hof posthumously. I was also told that the Nye County Board of Commissioners had jumped the gun and had prematurely selected a replacement prior to the results of the election.”
Back in January of this year, in a motion for injunctive relief, Goedhart requested that the courts vacate the appointment of Greg Hafen II to the Legislature by the Nye, Clark and Lincoln county commissions, which took place in late 2018.
Goedhart said he eventually received a call from a sheriff’s office detective who told him they would probably charge the man, but it would not be a felony.
“I told them I researched the criteria of what constitutes a felony assault,” he said. “The detective told me that they would charge him with a felony and arrest him. When he was finally arrested, they never contacted me to tell me that they have done a background investigation on this person.”
Efforts to get a comment from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office were unsuccessful.
Sheriff’s office investigation
In a heavily redacted arrest report, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as Thomas Baker, who was arrested on June 13.
Baker faces one count of battery.
The report, however, did not include Goedhart’s name.
Additionally, the report in several passages appeared to contradict Goedhart’s account of what occurred at the Stateline Saloon.
In part, the report stated that Baker assumed that his wife and Goedhart were engaging in a sexual relationship in the men’s room.
Goedhart summarily dismissed that suggestion.
“I went into the restroom, and I wasn’t even aware she was there,” he said. “I was using the urinal and this guy comes in about five seconds later and started swinging on me. I didn’t realize his wife was using the men’s restroom toilet stall. I have no idea how she got there. When I go into the restroom, I do my business and I’m not looking around to see who’s using a stall. I have no idea why his wife was using the men’s restroom. I have never met the couple before.”
Regarding his injuries, Goedhart said he is taking it day by day.
“I wake up in pain every day, and it’s very hard to sleep,” he said. “It makes it harder to go through the next day when you are sleep-deprived. I’m thinking about going out to a chiropractor in California, I don’t want to take pain pills because I’ve heard too many bad things about them and people getting hooked on opiates. Aside from the bumps and bruises, I’m still dealing with the aftermath of the attack. The whole side of my head was swollen up like a beach ball. I ended up going to quite a few different doctors.”
This is a developing story. Check pvtimes.com for updates.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes