Trying to Bring Some Good Out of A Bad Situation
Former Marine Challenges Metro Officer
To MMA Fight to Benefit Charity.
Steve Sanson, a former U.S. Marine,has challenged Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Jesus Arevalo to a Mixed Martial Arts bout to benefit charity. Arevalo made headlines late last year when he shot Gulf War Veteran Stanley Gibson in the back of the head. Gibson was unarmed and sitting in the front seat of his white Cadillac, unarmed, confused, and most likely suffering from a panic attack when Arevalo opened fire.
Gibson had served in the U.S. Army from June 1989 to June 1992 and had been honorably discharged. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he kept at bay through medications. However, a failure by the local VA to schedule his medical appointments left him without medication the weeks before the shooting. The night Gibson was killed wrapped up a tumultuous weekend in which Gibson’s wife tried to get him help. At one point Metro officer’s had taken Gibson into custody, but he was released a short time later.
It was after this release, Gibson was trying to remember how to get to his new apartment, but he accidentally pulled into the wrong apartment complex. He was on the phone with his wife getting directions, when he was confronted by police officers. Most likely Gibson saw the armed police as a threat, so he refused to exit his vehicle. An hour later, while Gibson say quietly in the front seat, Arevalo fired seven rounds into the back of his head with his AR-15. Gibsons’s death marked the 12th fatal encounter with Metro officers by citizens of Clark Country in 2011.
Sanson said that he recently found out the Officer Arevalo practices MMA and decided to challenge him in the ring. Longtime friend and promoter, Andre’ Haynes from Endeavor Media Group will help Sanson organize the fundraiser if Arevalo agrees to the match. In a press release issuing the challenge, Sanson said, “Arevalo casually enjoys easy life at his comfortably styled home while being on Paid Administrative Leave collecting over $78,000 annually of tax money paid by hard-working Las Vegans whom many are now unemployed and no longer receive unemployment nor government assistance.”
Sanson reminds the public that Gibson’s widow Rhonda, experiencing financial difficulties since her high-profile status has enabled her from gaining employment. The fact that her husband’s shooting was captured on video only made her attempts at anonymity more difficult.
“I know that a lot of people would like to see both of us in the ring and it would be an opportunity to turn a tragedy into some good,” Sanson said.. He hopes the officer accepts his challenge to a fair fight so they could raise funds benefiting widowers, and orphans of both Nevada Combat Military Veterans and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer.
Hayes, Sanson’s friend and promoter stated, “There are no winners in this situation because a life was lost and numerous people have been impacted as a result. Subtracting one person from the lives of several can make a significant difference, especially a loving and supporting husband from a wife whom was dependant on companionship, protection, and a livelihood. I encourage the community to help support Rhonda Gibson during her time of loss.”
Sanson served in the in the United States Marine Corps in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. Here at home, Sanson works closely with local Veterans and is the former Chaplain for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Marine Corps League. He currently is the President for Veterans in Politics International.
- For our wounded vets, every day is Memorial Day (thehill.com)
- Decorated Iraq Vet Shot to Death (courthousenews.com)