Tribal leader arrested in Las Vegas, apologizes to his community

According to Las Vegas, Nev., court records, Eastern Shoshone Business Councilman Michael Chingman was arrested on May 22. Two days later he was formally charged with Contributing to the Delinquency / Neglect of a Minor. He has since entered a no contest plea. "I just would like to say I'm sorry to the people of the Shoshone Tribe," Chingman said in an interview on Thursday. The circumstances surrounding the arrest are still unclear, but the criminal complaint against Chingman states that he "willfully, unlawfully" caused a 4-year-old child to "suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of abuse or neglect." It goes on to focus on the neglect side of the crime stating that he left "the (child) unsupervised for an extended period of time while the Defendant was publicly intoxicated." Chingman says he is not the legal guardian of nor does he live with the child in question. Soon after the arrest and charge, Chingman was allowed to enter a no contest plea, which is different than a guilty plea in that he is admitting that the evidence held by prosecutors would be a enough for a conviction in a trial, not guilt. For his plea he was given a suspended 60-day jail sentence, ordered to complete 100 hours of community service instead of paying fines, and ordered to attend impulse control counseling with an alcohol component. "I have come back and faced the other council members and have taken the responsibility for my role in the situation," Chingman said in the interview. The ESBC has reportedly hit him with sanctions as disciplinary measures. He added that he is taking other personal actions to confront his problems including counseling. In a post on Facebook, Chingman describes a frightening arrest and that the officers who apprehended him wanted to charge him with kidnapping and human trafficking. He says he is grateful to the Judge in his case who saw the situation for what it was. The arrest report listed his race as Asian. "All I know is not all gangs wear blue or red rags to show their colores," he wrote on facebook. "Some wear a brown uniform with a badge to protect them from being labeled a gang. But I was put into a situation I never want to be in again in my life. ... I was honestly scared for my life at one point with the arrest. I had a knee to the back of my neck and just prayed it wasn't my last breath. I was thrown thru the grinder with 4 cops who loved what they was doing to me. My hands was so scraped and my knee looked like an apple. Not once did I resist at anytime of the questioning." "I'm sorry I can't be the guy who sits at the table with the GREATS," he continued to write. "I'll be at the table with the BROKEN who's just trying to make it thru life."