Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
Aug 27, 2021 - 9:56PM

For Immediate Release

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Patrol deputies rescue teen hostage

Sarah Johns
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

A 19-year-old female is safe and unharmed after being held hostage by a relative this evening.

Patrol deputies initially responded to a home on the 5700 block of Lupin Drive in Sun Valley at 4:00 p.m. on August 27, 2021. When deputies arrived they located a 19-year-old who was outside the residence. The teen wanted to retrieve personal items she had in the home, but she said her uncle Luis Topete, 41, wasn’t allowing her access.

Deputies on scene determined Topete had an active Parole and Probation warrant. Deputies began communicating with Topete; however, he remained inside the home and refused to engage with law enforcement.

After an hour and a half of attempts to communicate with Topete, it was determined that he was a resident of that house and had a legal right to be there, so deputies left.

Moments after the deputies left, witnesses say Topete came out of the house, began beating family members gathered in the front yard with a steel pipe, grabbed the 19-year-old and drug her into the home. Topete locked the teen in a bathroom and barricaded himself inside the residence. Deputies returned within moments and could hear the niece screaming for help inside.

Due to the exigent circumstances, deputies executed a crisis entry to the residence and located Topete who was advancing on law enforcement with the pipe. Less lethal options were utilized to subdue and restrain Topete. The niece was rescued, unharmed.

Topete was transported to a local hospital for treatment, and upon his release was booked into the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility. Topete is charged with one felony count of false imprisonment; one felony count of battery with a deadly weapon; one misdemeanor count of domestic battery, second offense; one misdemeanor count of harassment; and one misdemeanor count of obstructing and resisting.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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