“Go fast. Take Chances.” Nevada State Trooper Micah May lived by this oft-repeated credo, perhaps never more than on New Year’s Day, 2015.
He was patrolling in Las Vegas at 5am when a car started coasting behind his cruiser. He accelerated and the driver matched, apparently thinking the cop couldn’t ticket someone behind him. That was a mistake. For her part, Joanna Evans, driving behind him, couldn’t imagine what kind of police officer would bait and ticket someone just trying to get to work at 5am on New Year’s of all days.
May approached her window with a jollity that belied the early hour and circumstances. She told him that she was glad he was around because she was nearly out of gas. He gave her a warning and escorted her to her job. At day’s end, she found something slipped in alongside the window of her car. It wasn’t, as she feared, a ticket but instead May’s business card with a note telling her to call if she ever needed help.
Call she did. And text. Soon the couple were inseparable. Joanna discovered that upbeat and friendly was just how he worked. “You could tell with every stop he made that he loved what he did,” she recalled. “His big thing was, I’m here to help you, not to hurt you.”
His adeptness in these situations wasn’t just reflected in the awards he received but in the requests he got from colleagues for help with rambunctious suspects.
He kept going fast and taking chances with Joanna. In mid-March he took her for a hike at Red Rock Canyon – and left her at the top of a mountain. “I’ll be right back,” he said. “I’ve got to call my mom.” She soon saw an incongruous site: Micah returning in a tuxedo. He had a ring. They’d only known each other a couple of months. “I said yes anyway, because I knew deep in my heart that he was the right one,” she said.
Raylan and Melody soon followed, completing their family. Micah was smitten with his kids.
But on July 27, 2021, he was deploying stop-sticks when a suspect’s vehicle hit and critically injured him. Micah was pronounced brain dead two days later. His donated organs saved the lives of three individuals, a poignant close to a life spent helping others.
“I’m sure he would want to be remembered in a positive way, but knowing him he would probably want us to tone down the hero stuff,” Joanna said. “But a lot of us look at him as a hero – because he was.”