LAS VEGAS – Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!
No, actually, it’s Las Vegas police giving a joy ride in a department helicopter to the guitarist for the Guns N' Roses rock band, helping him find a way to propose to his girlfriend.
And now an investigation is being conducted that might take the joy out of the ride for the officers involved.
Daren Jay “DJ” Ashba on Saturday posted a photo on Instagram of him and his girlfriend, Colombian actress and model Nathalia Henao, wearing helicopter headgear. He thanked the Las Vegas police department for “the most amazing” private helicopter tour over the city, saying it ended in a field at police headquarters, where he proposed amid roses and “a bottle of the bubble stuff.”
“That was the most incredible day of our life!!” Ashba wrote in the post, which came after a picture of a round-cut diamond solitaire with the caption, “She said yes!!!”
It “was beautiful she didn't expect a thing, it was magical," Ashba, 40, continued. "And thanks to our good friends for helping making it all happen!!"
It was also mentioned on his Twitter account:
That was the most incredible day of our life!! Special thx to the Las Vegas Police Dept. for the most… http://t.co/jT4p3c4UMK— A S H B A (@DjASHBA) August 10, 2013
Las Vegas police told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that two civilians were granted a ride-along in a helicopter, although they didn't mention names.
"An internal affairs investigation has been initiated to determine if any department policies or regulations were violated in granting this ride-along," spokesman Bill Cassell told The Times. "We have not officially confirmed any IDs. These people are part of our internal investigation."
Cassell added, "We provide ride-alongs on occasion based on the merit of the ride-along, but we’re looking to see if all proper procedures were followed here."
Guns N' Roses' publicist confirmed the validity of the Instagram account to the Associated Press. She said the couple met three years ago in Rome and got engaged Wednesday.
The helicopter ride comes as the department is already strapped for cash. Last week, Sheriff Doug Gillespie continued his push to increase the sales tax in Clark County — which includes Las Vegas — to 8.25% from 8.1%.
The tax initiative, dubbed “More Cops,” is aimed at plugging a $30-million budget hole, thereby saving some positions from being cut and allowing new officers to be hired.
That irony wasn't lost on one Instagram commenter, who goes by the handle mjmannino81, according to the AP.
He wrote, “It's nice to know that Clark County (which includes Las Vegas) might raise the sales tax to pay for extra cops to give private helicopter tours for wealthy celebrities.”
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