AP NEWS

Police: Man arrested after drunken standoff outside Santa Fe Place

April 4, 2019

Officers had to tackle and handcuff a man during an angry confrontation outside the Santa Fe Place mall Tuesday after he was found driving his girlfriend’s car erratically on a flat tire and then refused to drop a pocketknife, police say.

Michael Martinez, 30, of Santa Fe is facing charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and aggravated DWI, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court. He remained in custody Wednesday in the Santa Fe County jail.

The incident drew a large police response outside the JCPenney store just after 5 p.m. when mall security reported that someone driving a silver Mitsubishi sedan was swerving and running over curbs in the parking lot on a blown-out tire, according to police reports and a witness account.

When Santa Fe police officers approached the car, reports say, Martinez revved the engine as if trying to drive away, but the car was not in gear. Martinez then got out of the car and began yelling at officers and walking toward them holding a pocketknife, according to police. Reports say he ignored officers’ commands to drop the knife and at one point demanded to be stunned with a Taser.

He eventually let go of the knife, but he continued to argue with officers, police reports say.

A police lieutenant then tackled Martinez from behind and handcuffed him, according to reports.

Officers spoke with the owner of the car, Martinez’s girlfriend, who told them the couple had just taken her son to a nearby dentist on Cerrillos Road. The woman told police she had asked Martinez to stay in her car and listen to music while she took her son to the appointment because Martinez had been drinking, officers wrote.

Police found an open bottle of vodka in the car’s front cup holder, according to reports.

Martinez was briefly examined by paramedics because of a cut on his face from hitting the pavement, and then he was taken to Santa Fe Police Department headquarters, where he refused a breath-alcohol test, reports say.

He reportedly said, “It’s not worth it, I’m already drunk. What’s the point?”