Public safety employee accused of assaulting officer
Posted at: 09/12/2012 6:56 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A New Mexico Department of Public Safety employee is in serious trouble accused of assaulting a police officer during the Santa Fe Fiestas. Santa Fe Police said the woman was beating up her boyfriend then went after a cop.
Paula Espinosa works in the Special Investigations Division. According to Santa Fe Police reports, Espinosa and her boyfriend, Vince Vigil, were arguing outside of Hotel Chimayo in the Santa Fe Plaza. When officers saw Espinosa hitting Vigil in the face they stepped in, but then police said she took her anger out on them.
"She continued to fight with the officers and actually kicked one of our officers a number of times," said Santa Fe Police Captain Aric Wheeler.
Police then said Espinosa refused to tell police who she was. She was eventually charged with battery on a peace officer, battery on a household member, resisting or evading an officer, and concealing her identity. Despite the charges, Espinosa reported to work until KOB Eyewitness News 4 started asking questions.
Late Wednesday, a DPS spokesman confirmed that the department placed Espinosa on paid administrative leave.
"Our expectation from people who are familiar with the law enforcement community is that they will cooperate once we arrive on scene and provided us with information, hopefully give us their side of the story, but not refuse to cooperate with us and actually kick our officers," Wheeler said.
Espinosa’s attorney told KOB that Santa Fe Police have the story wrong. He said police roughed up his client and have blown the incident out of proportion.