Las Vegas, NV - Man Charged With Attempted Murder - Tried To Steal Metro Police Vehicle - Was Boxed In - Spent 45 Minutes In The Police SUV - Ran - Chase

November 30, 2015

A 34-year-old man faces an attempted murder charge after police said he tried to steal a Metro vehicle, drove his van at SWAT officers and led police on a chase — all before the sun was up Sunday morning.

Metro officers first encountered Richard William Ziegler in a van he refused to exit. As a pair of officers talked to him at 1 a.m., after a business owner in the 3100 Sirius Ave. parking lot pointed out the van, Ziegler slid a door ajar and released a dog on the officers, who ran back to their car as back-up officers arrived, police said.

Twenty minutes later — with a back-up police SUV blocking the van's path — Ziegler again opened his door, this time lighting pieces of paper on fire and tossing them outside. As a "large fire" burned by the van, the report said he ran to the empty back-up SUV and took an iPad, cellphone, criminal offense handbook, patrol car key and paperwork before returning to his van.

He re-emerged later with a large gas tank and lighter. As he walked toward officers, they fired beanbag rounds and he dropped the gas, darted to the same police SUV and stayed there for 45 minutes as police spoke to him on the stolen police phone.

Then Ziegler hopped back into his van and tried to drive away as an armored SWAT vehicle approached. With the SWAT vehicle's ram, the van was redirected, according to police.

Facing eight SWAT officers, Ziegler hit the gas and drove "directly and intentionally" at the officers, clipped the front-end of a second SWAT vehicle and left, just missing a fire truck called to extinguish the paper fire, the report said.

Ziegler ran several red lights and sped through parking lots until an officer rammed Ziegler's van twice to stop him, police said. But Ziegler kept going, hitting another officer's car. Three additional police cars then surrounded him.

"After spinning his tires to the point where one of the rear tires exploded, Ziegler broke out the passenger window of his van, exited through the broken window and fled on foot," the report said. He was caught soon after, treated for injuries and booked into Clark County Detention Center without bail.

He faces one charge each of attempted murder, resisting a public officer with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, attempted auto theft, first degree burglary and battery with a deadly weapon.