DJ Ashba defends cop pal over helicopter ride

Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba ha spoken for the first time about a helicopter ride that cost his friend his job as a Las Vegas police captain.

Ashba proposed to his then girlfriend – and now wife – Nathalia Henao on the police helicopter in August 2013. The ride was arranged by Metro Police Captain David O’Leary, who was later forced to resign over the incident.

But after a near two-year battle to save his job, O’Leary has won the support of the Nevada Employee Management Relations Board who said on Friday that he didn’t break any rules and that he should be reinstated with back pay.

Ashba tells 8 News Now: “Now that Dave and me have been cleared, and my wife, now it’s time to speak. Now you know, because I’m tired of being quiet. There’s nobody more loyal and honest than him and that’s why it was just horrifying what they were saying about us, you know. They made it seem like we jumped a fence at midnight and stole a helicopter.

“When you know you’re innocent for almost two years, it couldn’t be a better day. He loses his job because he did something out of the kindness of his heart. He did nothing wrong. We did nothing wrong.”

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released a statement disagreeing with the decision and insisting they’ll appeal.

O’Leary’s lawyer Adam Levine says: “I hope that their threats to appeal were just a statement made in the spur of the moment and that they will welcome him back.”

The incident came to light after Ashba posted an image on social media of the couple in the helicopter. He included the caption: “That was the most incredible day of our life. Special thanks to the Las Vegas Police Dept for the most amazing helicopter private tour over Vegas.”

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.