LAS VEGAS » A Las Vegas police captain who helped a rock star pull off an elaborate wedding proposal by arranging a flight on a department helicopter has retired rather than face demotion, and the pilot’s flying wings have been clipped, the agency confirmed.
Capt. David O’Leary faced demotion to lieutenant for helping arrange the Aug. 7 private flight for Guns N’ Roses guitarist Daren Jay "DJ" Ashba and his then-girlfriend, Colombian actress Nathalia Henao, the police department said in a statement issued late Tuesday.
O’Leary, a 25-year veteran who oversaw the Financial Crimes Bureau, instead retired on Dec. 20.
Officer Ray Horsley, who piloted the helicopter, is being transferred out of the Air Support Detail as of Jan. 11 and will no longer be allowed to fly for the department, police officials said.
The discipline follows a four-month investigation launched after word of the private, unauthorized aerial tour of Sin City came from Ashba himself.
Ashba posted a photo on Instagram of himself and Henao wearing helicopter headgear and thanked the Las Vegas police department for "the most amazing" private helicopter tour over the city.
He said it ended in a field at police headquarters where he proposed amid roses and "a bottle of the bubble stuff."
In the post, Ashba called the moment "magical," adding, "And thanks to our good friends for helping making it all happen!!"
The couple married in September.
Police officials concluded that O’Leary and Horsley violated department policy.
"A fly along and a patrol ride along are typically done for the purpose of exposing members of the community to the duties of law enforcement," the department’s statement said. "A fly along would begin and terminate at Air Support and would not include any off site landings as occurred in this case."
The statement added that the "civilians" directly involved in the flight declined to be interviewed as part of the internal investigation.