Man arrested in connection to assault near Strip

Phillip Gaines (Metropolitan Police Department)

Las Vegas police have arrested a man connected to a brutal beating last month near the Strip that left another man clinging to life.

Phillip Gaines, 34, was booked Tuesday at the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of attempted murder in the assault of an unidentified man on the morning of May 18 at Joe W. Brown Drive and Sahara Avenue.

Las Vegas police said in Gaines’ arrest report that they found the victim on the ground in a large pool of blood. The man was rushed to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center where he “never regained consciousness” from extensive injuries, including a cracked skull, a punctured lung and a brain bleed.

“At the time, he is not identified and intubated in intensive care,” police said.

Witnesses told police they saw the victim being relentlessly beaten by a man on the sidewalk.

“There was a male hitting another male in the head with rocks,” one witness told police.

Another witness said they saw the assailant “aggressively stomping on the head” of the wounded man and that the victim was “not responsive and had no way of defending himself.” The witness also described the person who carried out the beating as smiling as he walked away from the scene.

Police said Gaines was identified as a suspect after police returned to the scene the following day and found him in the area. His appearance matched the description of the attacker provided by witnesses, police said. He also looked like an image of the assailant captured on video surveillance from the area, police said.

Gaines denied any involvement when questioned.

Gaines, whom police said has a lengthy criminal history, was not initially arrested. He was, however, taken into custody this week after a witness picked Gaines out of a photo lineup, police said.

Gaines also is being held on a count of battery with use of a deadly weapon. He remained in jail without bail as of Thursday.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.