A retired Connecticut State Police bomb squad member was killed on Sunday after a random attacker threw a punch that knocked him backward, causing the back of his head to hit the pavement on the Las Vegas Strip.
His ex-girlfriend who was still close to him told DailyMail.com that Las Vegas authorities told her the ex-cop was targeted at random.
Prior to Sunday’s incident, Brandon Leath, the 33-year-old who has been charged with homicide in the death of Thomas Driscoll, 57, was reported to authorities several times by two people who say he was a ‘ticking time bomb,’ according to local media.
Driscoll, 57, drove to Las Vegas as part of a months-long hiking trip that he planned to take in the Western part of the United States.
Just before 4:30am, Driscoll was walking with a woman, Nava Fuehrer, across the pedestrian bridge between The Cromwell and Bally’s casino in Las Vegas when they passed by a group of men, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Thomas Driscoll (left), 57, a retired Connecticut State Police bomb squad member, was killed on Sunday after a random attacker threw a punch that knocked him backwards, causing the back of his head to hit the pavement on the Las Vegas Strip. The alleged attacker, Brandon Leath (right), 33, has been arrested and charged with homicide
The attack took place at around 4:30am on Sunday at the bottom of the escalator leading to the pedestrian bridge that connects Bally’s and The Cromwell on the Las Vegas Strip. The image above of the escalator and stairwell was taken in March 2020
According to police, one of the men, Leath, made a remark as Driscoll and Fuehrer walked by.
Moments later, Leath began running toward Driscoll and Fuehrer. Police allege that Leath ran down a flight of stairs as Driscoll and Fuehrer took a nearby escalator down from the bridge and onto Flamingo Road.
Leath allegedly waited at the bottom of the escalator for Driscoll and Fuehrer.
‘Leath set down his backpack and took a fighting stance,’ according to the police report.
Driscoll drove out to Las Vegas as part of a months-long trip to the West during which he was planning to go hiking
Driscoll was a member of the Connecticut State Police bomb squad
As Driscoll walked toward Leath, Leath landed a punch, knocking Driscoll backward toward the pavement, according to police.
Driscoll lay on the ground motionless. He was rushed to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday.
Annie Chong, Driscoll’s ex-girlfriend, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that she was told by police that Leath randomly attacked her ex.
Chong, a Windsor, Connecticut-based real estate agent who has known Driscoll for 20 years, said that there was no way Driscoll could have provoked his attacker.
‘He doesn’t argue, so when I heard all about this I was shocked,’ she said.
His former girlfriend, Annie Chong, told DailyMail.com that she was informed by Las Vegas police that Driscoll fell victim to a random attacker
‘He’s not an argumentative person. He’s very laid back. He always calmed the situation.
‘He was never a violent person. He doesn’t raise his voice. He’s so calm,’ she said.
After 22 years on the force, Driscoll retired from the Connecticut State Police in 2009. During his service, Driscoll patrolled the Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut alongside his black Labrador, Owen.
The agency released a statement which read: ‘It saddens us to hear that he died after being assaulted. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.’
As for Driscoll’s alleged attacker, Leath was identified by police based on a description from surveillance footage. Leath was eventually detained near The Mirage.
After he was taken in for questioning by police, he acknowledged being in the vicinity of the attack but denied throwing a punch.
Leath was arrested and charged with homicide. He was booked into Clark County Detention Center. As of Tuesday, he was held there without bail.
A court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
Chong said Driscoll’s ashes will be scattered in a pond in Maine together with those of his beloved black Labrador, Owen, who served alongside him in the Connecticut State Police
Driscoll’s ID card kept by his ex-girlfriend that identified him as part of the Connecticut State Police force, where he served for 22 years and from where he retired
Leath is alleged to have a violent history. Two men told KVVU-TV that they reported him several times within the last two months to the authorities in hopes of having him arrested.
One man who remained anonymous told the news station that Leath knocked him unconscious inside a convenience store.
The attack left him with blurred vision and headaches.
‘I was in there doing a little shopping and he happened to see me, and he confronted me about wanting his stuff,’ the victim recalled.
‘He knocked me out, so now I have to see a doctor about my possible concussion.’
In another instance, Leath is seen on cell phone video entering a nearby apartment complex, where staffers say he repeatedly trespassed into one of their units, claiming he had lived there.
One employee of the apartment complex showed KVVU-TV an entire file on Leath that is said to document at least eight encounters in the last two months.
Another employee said that on several occasions police did not show up even after they were called to the scene.
One one occasion, Leath is alleged to have threatened an employee with a screwdriver.
The employee told KVVU-TV that Leath drove out one of the tenants after he tried to sexually assault her in a dark parking lot.
As for Chong, Driscoll’s ex-girlfriend, she said he was simply the unlucky one who walked by – Leath’s latest victim.
Chong, a real estate agent based in Windsor, Connecticut, said her family was devastated by Driscoll’s loss. Even though they had not been dating for 10 years, she said Driscoll was like a father to her two young boys, Brian and Evan Hsia
Chong provided this handout photo showing Driscoll with her family at a restaurant
‘He was one unlucky one who walked by and we lost him.’
Chong said she last spoke to Driscoll on Thursday.
‘He was telling us that he’s getting ready to get back on the [hiking] trail, he got his license registered and he’s ready to go,’ she said.
‘Even though we separated we have dinners together over the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas…he was always there,’ Chong said of Driscoll (seen above with Chong’s two sons Brian and Evan Hsia)
When asked if she knew how he died, she responded: ‘One punch. I talked to the detective, and the autopsy report shows it’s one punch that knocked him down on the concrete floor.
‘That impact killed him.’
Chong said she and her family are devastated at the loss. Even though she and Driscoll had not been dating for 10 years or so, he remained a constant part of the lives of her and her two sons.
‘Even though we separated we have dinners together over the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas…he was always there,’ she said.
Chong said that Driscoll was ‘very genuine.’
‘Everybody who knows him will tell you that he is a great friend,’ she said. ‘If you ask him to do something he will always be there.’
Chong said that Driscoll’s body will eventually be cremated. His ashes will then be scattered in his favorite spot – a pond in Gray, Maine.
His ashes will be scattered together with those of his beloved Owen.
‘It was just hard to believe that [the attacker] did that and I hope there’s justice and a maximum penalty for this Brendan Leath is what this family would like to see,’ Chong said.