Bernalillo Co. sheriff says deputy’s alleged assault began as road-rage
(KOB) A Bernalillo County deputy’s career is on the line after police say he assaulted a man with a gun in a school zone Tuesday morning.
A witness says it started when the man wouldn’t move his car out of the street blocking in the off-duty deputy who was in his personal vehicle.
“This was a typical road-rage incident that escalated to an altercation,” Sheriff Dan Houston said.
Witnesses tell police off-duty Bernalillo County Sergeant Alfonso Rodriguez was blocked in by a double-parked car Tuesday morning in front of Horizon Academy West Charter School near Unser Boulevard.
When Rodriguez began gesturing to the driver, John Trujillo, to get out of the way Trujillo got out of his vehicle and grabbed a stick.
That is when the witness says Rodriguez got out of his truck and pulled out a gun saying something like “you want to pull out a stick?”
Rodriguez then grabbed Trujillo by the neck, pushed him into the car’s door jam and placed the gun into his neck.
The witness described the sight as a “kid strung over the car with a gun in his face, like a movie.”
Police soon arrived, and Rodriguez was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
It caught Sheriff Houston off-guard.
“I just promoted him to sergeant and had him and his family here on August 5 so yeah, I’m tremendously disappointed,” said Houston.
He says Rodriguez will most likely be stripped of that rank.
“Termination is on the table, there’s no question in an incident like this,” Houston explained.
The deputy defended himself to police, the criminal complaint says “Mr. Rodriguez basically denies having a gun, and stated he approached Trujillo with a wallet in his hand.”
“We have a deputy who has a good record here that has made a huge mistake, but it casts a shadow on all of us and it certainly causes the public concern and we understand that,” said Houston.
Sheriff Houston says once Rodriguez bonds out of jail he will have to give up his gun and badge.
He will also be assigned to work behind a desk at the department while the Albuquerque Police Department investigation continues.