A Los Alamos man racked up a second charge of battery against a police officer during the July 4 celebration at Overlook Park in White Rock after striking an officer on the forehead with his head.
Los Alamos Police Sgt. Chris Ross was on bike patrol at the park when a family sitting on the ground in anticipation of the fireworks show alerted him to Garrett Eckhart, 35, who was allegedly intoxicated and asked if Ross could get him to leave.
A statement of probable cause filed by Ross in Los Alamos Magistrate Court says Eckhart started to fall into the family. Ross allegedly asked Eckhart to leave because he was disturbing people all around him and unable to walk without falling down. Ross indicated that Eckhart came loud and boisterous and refused to leave so he asked for another police unit to assist with the situation.
While he was waiting, Ross said Eckhart began to stumble toward him and when he tried to push him back, he “head-butted” him on the forehead. The impact caused Ross’s bicycle helmet to be pushed down on his safety glasses causing a cut to his nose. Ross said he grabbed Eckhart’s hand and performed an arm-bar takedown to effect the arrest for battery on a police officer. He said as he was falling down Eckhart spun around so he landed on his back and continued to resist arrest.
By the time assistance arrived, Ross had succeeded in cuffing Eckhart, however, Ross and Cpl. James Keane had to “drag/carry” him to transportation because he allegedly was “not willing to walk”.
Eckhart was charged with battery upon a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly. He was on pre-trial probation charges of bribery of a witness, battery on a peace officer, and resisting, evading or obstructing a peace officer in connection with a Feb. 10 incident at an address on Gold Street. In that case, police found a victim with injuries to his back and face who was transported to Los Alamos Medical Center for treatment. Eckhart subsequently, Eckhart also resisted arrest and allegedly kicked an officer in the forearm while being removed from the patrol vehicle at the Los Alamos Detention Center.
Eckhart appeared in Magistrate Court Thursday before Judge Pat Casados on a motion filed by Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist to revoke his conditions of release on the earlier case. Wahlquist told the Court that once again, Eckhart had gotten drunk and belligerent. He listed past battery charges against Eckhart and said when he drinks he is a danger to the community.
“He has a consistent alcohol and belligerence problem,” Wahlquist said.
Eckhart’s attorney Krishna Picard said she agreed Eckhart has a terrible drinking problem. She told the Court that Eckhart currently has a medical condition that will require surgery and discussed having him released on stringent conditions.
Judge Casados asked Eckhart if he had understood that under his prior conditions of release he could have no alcohol. Eckhart replied that he thought he was strong and could go to the fireworks event but had proven himself wrong. Judge Casados opted not to revoke the conditions of release on the prior charges and agreed to release Eckhart on more stringent conditions including a requirement that he visit Probation Officer Linda Pena every weekday and submit to urinalysis at any time upon request.