Skip to comments.Parks officer shoots, kills man at Elephant Butte (NM State Park)
Posted on 08/26/2005 1:17:42 PM PDT by Rio
A state parks officer fatally shot a man Tuesday night at Elephant Butte Lake State Park during a confrontation over the man's refusal to pay camping fees.
It was the first fatal shooting by an officer at one of New Mexico's 32 state parks in at least 30 years -- since the creation of a formal parks law-enforcement program -- Parks Director Dave Simon said. The New Mexico State Police are investigating the shooting.
The slain man was described as an Anglo in his mid-50s whose truck and trailer had Montana license plates. Police would not release other information until his next of kin were notified.
The officer, Clyde Woods, a three-year veteran of the parks force, is on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation, Simon said.
A spokeswoman for the parks division, Erica Asmus-Otero, said the shooting was, "as far as we know, in self-defense."
"The officer was doing his job, what he was trained to do," she said.
State police Lt. Jimmy Glascock would not confirm that, saying the investigation continues. When completed, it will be forwarded to the 7th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Socorro for a decision on whether charges are warranted.
The confrontation began just after 8 p.m. Tuesday at Lion's Beach, a busy area near the lake's visitors center, after the man became belligerent with a parks volunteer over a $14 camping fee he refused to pay, Asmus-Otero said.
The volunteer called for an officer, and the man was also belligerent after Woods arrived.
Woods attempted to apprehend the man for trespassing, Asmus-Otero said. The man placed his hands in his pockets and refused to remove them despite Woods' requests. At that point, she said, the man "acted in a manner that our officer is trained to respond to," but would not provide more details, other than to say he was "aggressive" and "verbally abusive."
Glascock said police did not find "a firearm or knife" on or near the man's body after he was shot.
State Parks officers are fully certified law enforcement officers who attend the state police academy for training. Simon said officers are trained to focus on education and interaction with the public, rather than confrontation.
He said the "vast majority" of parks users "comply willingly with parks fees," which generate almost two-thirds of the state parks division's budget.
"Deadly force is always a last resort," Simon said. "The choice to use it is based on the risk the officer sees of imminent injury or death to the officer or to the public. ... Failure to pay fees would not have been a reason for this officer to do what he did."
Sun-News photographer Norm Dettlaff contributed to this report.
There are plenty of illegals that get shot to death when resisting arrest or when wrestling with LEOs - you just never hear about it.
Although we all agree that the illegal problem is real and is not dealt with in any real way that will solve the problem, you won't get very far preaching to the choir.
Here lies Bruce Teschner, shot at elephant butte,
Where he made the losers cut.
A curmudgeon and a bit of a nut.
Told to reach, instead he said, What?
So the cop put a slug in his gut.
Prompting a muttering of tut tut.
You must be reading a different story. You definitely aren't using your head.
Works for me. ;o)
Yeah riiigggghhhhhtttttt! You would arrest him when the detective on the scene told you to and laugh about it later. I don't necessarily disagree with what the cop did above but there are two laws - one for the masters and the other for the serfs (the rest of us). That is why I don't get upset when a cop gets a raw deal anymore.
I look in the review, and I see the disco lights, I look down and I'm doing 30 in a 25.
The "Park Ranger" walks up, and asks for my papers, I give them to him. I notice in my review, the kid, with his hand on his firearm still in it's holster, ready to fill me full of lead. I said to the professional, "Tell your partner to stand down, I am of no threat." He looked back, and ordered him to "Relax"...exact words, no lie.
Returning to my vehicle, he gave me to tickets, one for speeding, "5 over" and the other for expired proof of insurance, with a have a nice day. I immediately got out, and said, "hey! I gave you the wrong proof of insurance" and after digging it out of the wallet, I gave it to him at the rear bumper of the my car. The kid, said "Get back in the car or I'LL arrest you." This is when I said, Let the adults talk.
When he pepper sprayed me, his partner yelled, "What in hell are you doing man?"
The kid had the responsibility of bringing me to the local Sheriff office for screening. His Partner, wanted nothing to do with it. And again, his partner was the one who told me he would have been fired if I was not impaired... Now why would he tell me something like that?
I showed no signs of intoxication, the little F was lucky I was. If you state the fact I got out of the car, sure, that may be grounds. But why did the emotionally stable partner, take caution, but received my valid Papers, and then tell me, "I'll see what I can do"...
I no why you ask me these things you do. if you were there, you would not be asking... you'd be telling the story.
If you showed no signs, why did the officer say you were impaired?
If you were impaired, why did the officer allow you to return to your car leave citing only the speeding and lack of insurance?
Something is wrong with this picture.
Hmmm. An earlier post said you were guilty of a crime (drinking and 0.08). Now you are saying you showed no signs of intoxication. Something is wrong with this picture.
How is he misreading the story?
---------------------------------------- spokeswoman for the parks division, Erica Asmus-Otero, said the shooting was, "as far as we know, in self-defense." "The officer was doing his job, what he was trained to do," she said.
Quite while the adults speak.
OK, let's play your game - he wouldn't take his hands out of his pockets so the officer shot him.
Why is it that this is the ONLY time the media seems to have reported EXACTLY what happened and didn't write it in such a way as to cause people to get the wrong idea just for press?
Maybe you should check over at the DU.
He raised some valid points. I don't quite get it, either.
Quiet while the adults speak... Sorry 'bout that..
Simple my simple friend. When he took me down to the cop's stop, I blew a .08... How hard is that to understand??
Ti's because you do not want to me thinks...
Elephant Poachers, no doubt.
Post 94 is for you...
That helps confirm what I was thinking.
Thanks for sharing.
that was a cop out
Yours or mine?
If mine, I take it that means you think I should fill you in on what I've gleaned from your writings. (If I'm wrong or you're not interested, feel free to stop reading here and move along.)
Each of you was determined not to take any sh*t from anybody. Each of you was determined to dish it out. That's a volatile combination, the makings of the 'perfect storm.'
The "kid's" (as you referred to him) determination was enhanced, more or less, by his badge and armaments. Likewise, yours by liquid courage.
Two short fuses. Two hair triggers.
His partner was right about one thing. Those who wear the badge are expected to deal with such situations better than the average civilian. The public servant is held to a higher standard.
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