BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Charges against former City of Espanola Police Officer and Los Alamos resident Gabriel Wadt, 30, were dismissed in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Friday morning after the Assistant District Attorney Heather Smallwood failed to respond to several requests from Wadt’s attorney Jerry Archuleta for official cell phone numbers for Los Alamos Police Department officers in connection with the case.
Archuleta received emails, phone records and video from Wadt’s arrest in August on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Archuleta told Judge Pat Casados Friday morning during a conference call status hearing on the case that the state has not worked in good faith to move the case forward.
Archuleta said a request for LAPD records under the Inspection of Public Records Act had turned up 300-400 pages of LAPD cell phone records in addition to emails and video. He said without the names of those to whom the phone numbers belong, he was unable to determine who officers on the scene had called or received calls from during the incident to enable him to decide who he needed to conduct pre-trial interviews with.
Judge Casados agreed with Archuleta that the state’s failure to provide the information requested had put him “up against the wall”.
Archuleta told the Los Alamos Reporter Friday that a lot of actions taken by LAPD in the case were “not typically done on any criminal case” and that some of them appeared personal in nature. He said the time for him to prepare for Wadt’s trial runs out Feb. 18 and that the state has not given him ample time to do his job.
“It is Ms Smallwood’s job to work as hard on this case as I am working,” he said.
Court records indicate LAPD received a report that the driver of a black Cadillac with temporary plates was driving erratically and appeared to be intoxicated. Officer David Randleman made contact with Wadt who was unresponsive in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with the transmission in drive at Sandia and 44th Street. Court records indicated that Randleman knocked on the vehicle and tried to get Wadt’s attention and that Randleman tried to get into the vehicle through the passenger’s door to place the vehicle in park but it was locked. He woke Wadt by shaking him and told him to put the car in park. Randleman’s report states that began to drive forward and almost struck the Espanola Police Department patrol unit parked in front of him.
Randleman reported that he got Wadt to stop and then reached into the vehicle, put it in park and pressed the ignition button to stop the motor. He noted a strong odor of intoxicating liquor. When Randleman asked Wadt for insurance, registration and his driver’s license, Wadt reportedly refused to give them saying Randleman was not a police officer.
Randleman’s report states that Cpl. David Boe was able to get Wadt to provide his driver’s license and that Boe allowed Wadt to exit the vehicle to retrieve his license from his back pocket. Randleman observed Wadt to be very unsteady on his feet. After confirming Wadt’s identity from his license, Randleman asked Wadt to remove his sunglasses. Randleman’s report indicates that Wadt’s eyes appeared bloodshot and watery. He asked Wadt if he had anything to drink that day and Wadt stated that he had not. Asked if he was on any prescription medication or non-prescription drugs, Wadt stated that he was not. He then stated that he was on prescription medication but would not tell Randleman what he was on.
Asked if he would take standardized field sobriety tests, Wadt agreed to take them. While Randleman went to position his patrol vehicle to record the sobriety tests, Boe stayed to watch Wadt. As Randleman walked to his vehicle he heard Boe yell, “Gabe”. He turned around to witness Wadt running towards the house. He yelled for Wadt to stop as he ran after him but Wadt ignored his commands to stop and continued to evade Randleman. Wadt ran through the garage and into the house where he barricaded himself and refused to come out. Officers retreated to cover at that point for safety reasons.
The reporting party provided a written statement describing Wadt’s inability to maintain his lane and speed and indicating that Wadt had nearly crashed into the barriers dividing lanes. A video was also provided corroborating the statement.
The Los Alamos Reporter has submitted an IPRA request to Los Alamos County for the LAPD records associated with the case.