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DJ Ashba Discusses Controversial Police Helicopter Ride

DJ Ashba
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Last month, a Las Vegas police captain lost his job after it was revealed that he had arranged for a romantic helicopter ride to help Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba propose to his girlfriend. For the first time since the incident, Ashba spoke to the media about the controversy.

“They act as if we jumped a fence and stole a helicopter late at night, and that’s not at all what happened, “Ashba told Fox 5 Vegas. “There’s a lot of false information that was fed to the public. We followed protocol. It was an approved ride.”

In August, Ashba and then-girlfriend Nathalia Henao took an aerial tour of Las Vegas on a police helicopter. At the end of the ride, Ashba proposed amid roses and champagne. A four-month investigation followed after Ashba posted a photo of the couple on Instagram with a caption thanking the police, which didn’t seem like a big deal given his history.

“I’d taken a helicopter ride a year before, posted a ‘Thank You’ on my Instagram — not a peep,” he continued. “They offered up a ride again, and I said, ‘Sure, that would be great. It’s a big day for me.'”

Ashba and Henao were married on Sept. 23.

The police department said that while approved ride-alongs are common, they are used to educate citizens about the role law enforcement plays in the community. After a four-month investigation, Captain David O’Leary, who authorized the flight, chose to retire after 25 years of service rather than face a demotion to lieutenant. The pilot, Ray Horsley, was transferred out of air support detail.

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