8:43am PT by Eriq Gardner
'Bad Girl's Club' Star Says She Was Misidentified as 'Person of Interest' in Triple Homicide
A reality TV star is hinting at legal action after the Las Vegas Police Department released her photo as a "person of interest" in a triple homicide on the Vegas strip during a national press conference this week.
Tasha Malek, who was a cast member on Oxygen Television Network’s Bad Girl’s Club, has hired a law firm calling for an apology and exploring options.
According to attorney Michael Grieco, law enforcement targeted Ammar Harris as the suspect and became interested in speaking with Tineesha Lashun Howard for a possible connection to the crime that shut down the Vegas strip temporarily. The problem was that the police allegedly circulated to the media the photo of Malek instead of Howard and identified the woman in the photo as a prostitute with a lengthy criminal past.
“The Las Vegas police department’s mistake has deeply embarrassed Ms. Malek and severely damaged her reputation,” said Grieco in a statement.
The statement continued, “Ms. Malek is a well-known personality, upstanding person in the community, and successful business woman. Shortly after the wrong photos appeared in broadcast, print and online news reports, Ms. Malek was overwhelmed with upsetting phone calls and emails from concerned family, friends, associates and fans from around the nation. People on the street who don’t know my client are recognizing her face from the national news reports and are making hurtful comments.“
Greico also added that it appeared that Harris had "pulled many photos of Ms. Malek’s off of her Facebook page without her knowledge," which might have led the police to circulate the wrong photos.
Unfortunately, the police might not have been very successful on the second try either. According to a local ABC outlet, the police circulated a second email to the media that included pictures of the R&B singer Maya as the "person of interest."
Greico says he's been in contact with the police department to retract the story and pull the wrong photos. But he also wants more.
“We hope the Las Vegas police will issue an official apology and assist us in making sure Ms. Malek face and name are no longer associated with this terrible crime," he says. "Unfortunately, this mistake is widespread and continues to be a humiliating nightmare for Ms. Malek, and we are exploring our options.”
The police department's spokesman Jose Hernandez told one news outlet that it was standing by the release of the photos.
E-mail: [email protected]; Twitter: @eriqgardner