Suspects Flee After Attempt To Run Down Officer

Louis Martinez
By Maire O’Neill
Los Alamos Daily Post

Two 18-year-old men were arrested Monday at Smith’s Marketplace after another alleged shoplifting incident where one of the men tried to run over a Los Alamos Police officer while attempting to flee the scene.

Andrew Gallegos

Louis Martinez of Espanola was charged Tuesday in Los Alamos Magistrate Court with aggravated assault upon a police officer, aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault upon a police officer, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Andrew Gallegos, of Fairview, a passenger in the vehicle, was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; accessory to a crime; resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, selling or giving alcoholic beverages to minors, possession of controlled substances, violating the liquor control substance act for a minor in possession, and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids.

Court documents filed by LAPD Cpl. James Keane and Sgt. Monica Salazar-Casias indicate that Keane was outside Smith’s Marketplace and saw two males later determined to be juveniles leaving the store through the north doors each carrying a bag and walking briskly. He then observed a silver Pontiac sedan drive up in front of the two males and stop. The two males ran to the car yelling, “Go!” to the driver.

Keane said he approached the front of the car and yelled at the males to stop. He saw two males that were already in the front seats of the vehicle and the two males he had seen exiting the store had entered through the back doors of the vehicle.

“As I got to the vehicle, I put one hand on the hood of the vehicle and raised my other hand signaling for the driver to stop, but the driver accelerated quickly, nearly running me over,” Keane’s report states.

Salazar-Casias’s report states the driver hit the gas and accelerated toward Keane who drew his service weapon and called over his radio for another unit. She said Keane watched the vehicle exit the parking lot near McDonalds and turn right on Trinity Avenue.

Cpl. David Boe and Sgt. Chris Ross intercepted the vehicle near Central Avenue and East Road. Boe attempted to stop the vehicle and it turned right onto Arroyo Lane where it came to a stop. The four individuals were placed in separate police units.

The Court documents indicate that when Martinez, identified as the driver, was asked why he tried to run Keane over, he state that he did not try to run him over, that he did not know Keane was a police officer but instead believed he was a security guard.

Salazar-Casias transported the two juvenile males to the police department to await a guardian while Boe and Ross completed a vehicle inventory. While documenting the contents of the vehicle, Det. Matt Lyon located marijuana under the driver’s seat and a bong in the back seat. The two bags Keane had previously seen also were located. They contained seven bottles of Crown Royal valued at $277.86.

On arrival at the Police Department, Martinez participated in a field sobriety test and was charged with driving under the influence.

LAPD Cmdr. Oliver Morris said Wednesday morning that the Department is looking forward to some collaboration with Smith’s Marketplace to discuss options on addressing safety and security concerns at the property. He said patrol presence has been increased in the vicinity of the store.

“The reality is that while the number of larcenies has gone down in recent months, there has been an increase in more serious incidents that concern public safety,” Morris said.

Two men were arrested Aug. 25 after an attempt was made to run down LAPD Cpl. Robert Larsen who had pursued their vehicle following another shoplifting incident.

Martinez and Gallegos had their first appearances before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados Tuesday afternoon and were released on their own recognizance. No dates have been set for preliminary hearings for the two men.

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