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.
If what I wrote, displayed liquid courage, then I must learn to write differently. I am surprised that at any time, alcohol makes you guilty period. Even by your writings, you stress guilt because I had three beers.
I count my blessings that our Judicial system is set up the way it is. Otherwise, guys like you would dismiss all other evidence in the case because the suspect was under the influence of "Liquid Courage".
I now understand your handle.
Title should have been
Parks Officer stamps DickWeeds eternal dirt nap camping permit.
Okay. More confirmation. No surprise. Thanks again.
Best wishes to you and yours.
One more thing. Where in my writings did I say anything about your guilt (let alone "stress" it)?
So, either you're confusing me with someone else, or the guilt is coming from somewhere inside yourself.
Two short fuses. Two hair triggers.
Right here ya yahoo... I don't think I said this!
The judge said you're guilty.
I simply provided you with an excuse, "yahoo."
Look, "yahoo." You previously wrote this:
His Partner told me in court, ... . I stood up in front of everyone in the room(assistant prosecutor included), and told the little bastard to go get F%^$#%^%!. I ended up with probation for 6 mths...
So, pardon me for guessing it was a judge in that court who sentenced you to 6 months' probation. Around here, only a judge can pass sentence.
Sheesh. Count your blessings that it's not a crime to be a jerk.
Had I know I would have had some yahoo picking apart my discourse as you appearently have, I would not left any open windows. I have learned something here on this thread and I thank you for that...some people ain't got a life!
When I worked for Keego Harbor for a couple years, there was a little bastard wannabe working part-time for Sylvan Lake whose whole purpose in life was finding and busting drunks (as opposed to, say, patrolling the neighborhoods of Sylvan Lake or getting his ass out of the car and walking around the business district). He had a particular hard-on for those with skin color darker than his own, and he had no problem inventing probably cause. His peers finally convinced their 68-year old chief to show the guy the door before he became a liability rather than just an embarassment. Sadly, last I heard he was causing trouble for some other small department. Should have ended up in jail, IMO.
Hope y'all enjoyed the concert, btw!
It's always hard to keep the various parts of the story straight.
both of need to get a life...
hmmm. A guy that drives impaired, disses cops and gets pepper-sprayed says WE should get a life?
LOL... Yes, you need to get a life!
Have you ever been a night life person? Or have you always been a sober hermit? There a millions of Americans who go out, have a few cocktails in socializing, and DRIVE home impaired! Are you now telling me publicly that all these people, every single day 366 days a year are all low life scum of the earth dastardly individuals because they drive impaired?
How the hell you think the cops get home when they stop for a few after their shift? Fly? By power beam??
Like I said...get a life.
Most skip the part about dissin' cops, getting pepper-sprayed, hauled to the drunk tank and six months probation.
Do you have a fetish for wild turkeys, or is it because you like the alcoholic beverage??
H H M M M M M M ?
Go ahead, tel me you don't drink and drive...
Smokey the Bear with his hat and gun on steroids?