Washoe County Courthouse


Sheriff Allen commends court Deputies for defusing a potentially life-threatening kidnap attempt at the Mills B. Lane Courthouse

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office released a court security photo today showing Deputies and security staff assigned to the Mills B. Lane Justice Center in downtown Reno safely defusing a potentially life-threatening kidnap attempt that occurred within the lobby of the courthouse last Friday afternoon.

Sheriff Chuck Allen commended the actions of the Deputies who were faced with a highly volatile situation in a busy public setting.

“These situations can be very difficult for law enforcement to resolve without the use of lethal force,” Sheriff Allen said. “In this case Deputies saw the opportunity to successfully initiate a non-lethal tactic using a TASER. They acted with split-second determination to safely free the victim and take the suspect into custody.”

At approximately 1:45 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2015, suspect Jeff Douglas Wise, age 41, abducted a bystander at knifepoint just outside the courthouse at 1 South Sierra Street. Wise then entered the lobby of the court building holding the adult male victim at knifepoint. Court Security officers and a Reno Justice Court Bailiff initially confronted the suspect while calling for assistance from Sheriff’s Deputies.

Deputies arrived within moments and ordered the suspect to drop his knife. The suspect refused. As Deputies positioned themselves around the suspect, they saw an opportunity to deploy a TASER. Once hit by the TASER darts, the suspect released the victim. Deputies were immediately able to pull the victim to safety while taking the suspect into custody.

After Wise was taken into custody he told investigators that his intent was to try to force Deputies into a lethal force situation. He is currently being held in the Washoe County Detention Facility on charges of Assault, Second Degree Kidnapping, Assault on a Protected Person and Disturbing the Peace in a Public Building.

photo:This still from a courthouse security camera shows Washoe County Sheriff's Deputies taking assault and kidnapping suspect Jeff Douglas Wise into custody during an incident at the Mills B. Lane Justice Center in downtown Reno on Friday, April 10.