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Las Vegas police locate 3 women who were in SUV with suspect

By Michelle Rindels

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:47 a.m. HST, Feb 28, 2013



LAS VEGAS » A week after a shooting and spectacular fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip, police said today they have found and talked with all three women who were in an SUV with driver and accused shooter Ammar Harris.

Harris, 26, a felon and self-described pimp whose Internet posts show him with fists full of money and boast of a high-rolling lifestyle with prostitutes, is the subject of a multi-state manhunt following the Feb. 21 gunfire and chain-reaction crash that left three people dead and at least five people injured.

Late Wednesday, police found SUV passenger Tineesha Lashun Howard in another state, and Las Vegas police Capt. Chris Jones said for the first time that police previously found and interviewed two other women who were with Howard in Harris' black Range Rover SUV during the shooting.

The gunfire killed a self-prompted rapper driving a Maserati, and the sports car slammed into a taxi that burst into flames, killing the driver and passenger.

Jones wouldn't release the names of the other passengers in Harris' SUV, but said none had been charged with a crime. Police are concerned about their safety, the police captain said.

"There is no other person wanted in this case other than Harris," Jones said. "No one else faces charges."

Howard, a 22-year-old from Miami with a history of prostitution arrests, also uses the names Yenesis Alfonzo or Yani. She was identified by police on Tuesday as a person of interest in the case who might have been in danger. Jones wouldn't say Thursday where she was found.

Las Vegas police also sought today to stop the circulation of several photos the department issued Tuesday and Wednesday in the search for Harris. Police said they depict people other than Howard.

Harris was arrested last year in Las Vegas in a 2010 prostitution case using the name Ammar Asim Faruq Harris. He was charged with robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping and coercion with a weapon, and police sought charges of pandering by force and felon in possession of concealed weapon. Court records show that case was dismissed last June.

Harris was convicted in South Carolina in 2004 of felony possession with intent to sell a stolen pistol and convicted that same year in Atlanta of a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

He is sought in Las Vegas on three murder warrants.

Harris posted many online displays of bravado in which he boasts of a high-rolling lifestyle of luxury cars, prostitutes and boat trips with scantily clad women.

Wearing a red baseball cap and crisp white shirt with flashy sunglasses tucked in the collar, Harris asks nonchalantly whether viewers will "help me count something," and then fans out a stack of bills.

The video he took of himself in a bathroom cuts away to a pile of cash on the counter; Harris drops a bill and says "50."

"I could keep going, I could keep going ... but like, I don't feel like countin' anymore," he says. "I got another bag. But I think I proved my (expletive) point."

Las Vegas Police Officer Bill Cassell declined to comment on the video, saying it was open to the interpretation of individual viewers. But he said detectives are getting plenty of leads on Harris, whose face is splashed across billboards along Las Vegas freeways.

"I'm sure the widespread publicity, as well as the blatant, heinous nature of the crime, is motivating people to contact us," Cassell said.

Authorities believe Harris shot from a Range Rover he was riding in along with Howard, a 22-year-old from Miami who has been arrested multiple times on charges including prostitution, trespassing, possession of a stolen vehicle and grand larceny. 

Harris was arrested last year in Las Vegas in a 2010 prostitution case using the name Ammar Asim Faruq Harris. He was charged with robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping and coercion with a weapon, and police sought charges of pandering by force and felon in possession of concealed weapon. Court records show that case was dismissed last June.

But while the courts haven't convicted him of pimping, his bold social media persona suggests otherwise.

In Twitter postings attributed to Harris and reviewed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal before the feed was apparently disabled Tuesday, Harris brags that his house is full of women, and they're all paying him. In one August post quoted by the newspaper, he writes, "there's nothing wrong with paying for (sex)...as long as you paying one of my (women)."

Harris posts pictures of a Bentley and an Aston Martin, and mug shots from his own arrests. Harris was convicted in South Carolina in 2004 of felony possession with intent to sell a stolen pistol and convicted in Atlanta of a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

Harris also discusses plans for his own birthday party aboard a boat on the Atlantic Ocean, complete with a $1,000 bikini contest.

The fast life Harris boasts of is not unlike the online persona projected by 27-year-old shooting victim Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr.

Cherry, who went by the stage name "Kenny Clutch," is seen in a YouTube video driving his luxury car down the Strip and rapping about a "Maserati, paid 120 for it."

Police say the two argued in the valet area of the Aria casino before dawn Thursday. The dispute took a deadly turn in the tourist corridor when shots were fired from a Range Rover and into Cherry's Maserati, which sped forward through a red light and slammed into a taxi.

The taxi exploded, killing 62-year-old driver Michael Boldon and 48-year-old passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, a businesswoman visiting from Maple Valley, Wash. Four other cars crashed, injuring several other people and closing the intersection in the heart of Las Vegas for an entire day.

Police found the Range Rover two days later parked at the gated Las Vegas apartment complex where Harris lived, but there was no sign of Harris.






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