Incline Village business owner battered by homeless man

Miranda Jacobson /
In addition to his duffle bag, Russel had set up a piece of cardboard to sleep on next to a small fire. He also had a knife and scissors in his possession during the attack.
Provided/Virginia Jordan

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Local business owner Virginia Jordan was attacked by an apparent homeless man on Monday, Aug. 15, after attempting to remove items from the front of her establishment and clean up trash around the area. 

“I don’t wish anyone would have to go through this,” said Jordan a week after the assault. 

The man who attacked Jordan was identified as Luke Russel, who was arrested after attempting to escape the scene of the crime on Tahoe Boulevard by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with two misdemeanors, including battery and destruction of property to another totaling $25-$250. 

Russel was remanded to the custody of the WCSO with bail set at $1,000 cash only. He was still being held and was arraigned on Tuesday, Aug. 23. 

Jordan recalled coming to her place of work early Monday morning and noticed there was trash and a duffle bag in the front. After being told there was a man occupying the spot for most of the morning Jordan began to clean up the trash. When Russel returned, he got aggravated with Jordan for moving his trash and belongings. 

“At that point, he came over, rushing me, and pushed me with both hands,” said Jordan. 

After he pushed her to the ground, he began to get more aggressive with Jordan, climbing on top of her and continuing the assault. It wasn’t until witnesses and local bystanders began to inform Russel that the authorities had been called that he grabbed what he could with his duffle bag and fled the scene, according to Jordan. 

Jordan said that she had been cleaning up the area in front of her business when Russel confronted her about moving his belongings. When Jordan reminded him he was on private property and trespassing, he charged at her.
Provided/Virginia Jordan

A WCSO spokesperson said they couldn’t comment due to continuing judicial efforts. 

“By the time he was running down Tahoe Boulevard, five sheriff cars came zipping up and he kept trying to fight the sheriffs and resisted arrest,” Jordan said.  

Along with physically assaulting her, Jordan reported that Russel also destroyed her cell phone, resulting in the second misdemeanor. Her injuries included a concussion, multiple bruises, head contusions and swelling in her head. 

“I’m a pretty strong person and overall this just wiped me out,” Jordan said.

In addition to physical damages, Jordan said the experience has forced her to examine the traumatic impact the incident has had on her mentally, which has caused sleeping issues and raised her anxiety to an all time high. 

Jordan is currently signed up for the Washoe County Victim Assistance program, which will give her updates as to when Russel will be released from custody, as well as how she can testify and press charges when the time comes. 

“I don’t have a problem pressing charges,” Jordan said. 

Now, Jordan is focused not only on getting justice for her case, but also healing emotionally and physically.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.