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Ricardo Torres

Man leads police on chase through Bellagio's fountains

27 July 2015

It's not very often you see the police chase down someone in a borrowed boat — at least not in the Mojave Desert.

Unless, maybe, it's on the Strip.

But the throngs gathered for a light and water show at the fountains of Bellagio on Thursday night saw that and more.

What should have started as dancing lights synchronized to the sounds of longtime Las Vegas favorites Celine Dion, Elvis or — of late — superstar DJ Tiesto, turned into one weird way to take a dip that ended up damaging a site declared the United States' No. 1 landmark.

It all began just after 9 p.m., according to an arrest report from the Metropolitan Police Department. Bystanders hailed officers on bike patrol after they saw a man trying to climb a wall around the fountains.

By the time police got close, he had made it over.

Officers yelled at him, the arrest report said, and the man leaped into the water and swam toward the fountains.

When he reached them, he "maliciously" tugged on lights and spouts while "screaming and yelling," police said. Officers called for first responders thinking he might get electrocuted.

At this point, two Las Vegas police officers were on their way to get him, via watercraft. MGM Resorts International, which owns Bellagio, let Metro use the boats.

When they got close, the officers jumped out and made an in-water arrest.

Manuel Gutierrez, 39, address unknown, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on a felony count of destruction of property at a cost over $5,000, trespassing and resisting arrest. He didn't show up Friday night in a search of the jail logs.

It's not clear why the man may have jumped. His arrest report didn't mention anything about a police interview. Officers did not describe his state of mind.

MGM Resorts used the incident as a reminder for proper behavior. The 8.5-acre man-made lake at 3700 Las Vegas Blvd. South is "not a swimming pool," spokeswoman Mary Hynes said. Its average depth is 7 feet, and it gets up to 14 feet in spots.

In other words, its probably over your head. So keep out.

Repairs to the fountains had been made by Friday, Hynes said. The total cost wasn't available.

But Metro had an estimate: 'way over' $5,500, according to the arrest report, not counting what he did to one of the boats. That amount wasn't determined. Police also accused Gutierrez of doing damage to an officer’s $700 vest.

Another way to measure the cost? On weeknights after 8 p.m., the fountain shows start every 15 minutes. They last the length of an average pop or electronic dance music song, say three to five minutes.

Thursday's episode lasted just over 45 minutes. That comes to one disrupted song each for someone who could be a Canadian crooner, The King or a really big face on a billboard.
Man leads police on chase through Bellagio's fountains is republished from