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?
I award you a PHD in understatement. :)
I was pulled over one time by a cop that had a bad hair day. I kept my cool and so did the others in the car. No ticket, No warning. I made my report about his actions at the police station.
Had I been impaired and dissed him as you did, he probably would have reacted like the cop that pepper-sprayed you.
I limit myself to one glass of wine with dinner.
If I go out to dance, it is ONE drink per hour and at least one hour between FINISHING the last drink before I will drive. And if I get pulled over, I will be able to provide them with the RIGHT insurance card.
We always had wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
It comes from a long time ago when me and my buddy gave the Admiral at the Pensacola NAS the 'bird'.
Squirrel Cops With Glocks! BUMP!
Well then, with this new revelation, I'll have you know that your percentages increased on my 'Respect' meter...Here...Let me buy your next glass of wine. You ain't goin' anywhere in the next hour are ya??
Sad end for Butt.
LOL! Good choice. My wife mentioned something about that, Bath Fest, I think. Thought it was some gay-lesbian thing from the name at first. Maybe we'll stop by tomorrow for a few.
At first I thought that NM had implemented pretty strict enforcement of its parks admissions policy. Guess more facts will have to come out, but the cop will have some explaining to do.
By the time this is settled, you can probably multiply that $14 by a million.
Hmmmm so contempt of cop is a crime now ? Sounds like Clyde has some splainin to do...... Based on "just" what I read here ..... the tree cop err'd on the side of death per se. Wait'n see.......
I told you I got worried when they started arming the forest service.
I remember what it's like to guess what a guy is hiding in his pocket or behind his back but, geez, context is everything. An argument over admission hardly gives rise to assumptions the dude's about to pull a Thompson submachine gun out of his pocket.
Now if he was wearing bulky clothing with wires sticking out and yelling "Die, infidel!", he might have had a better case.
Tree cops have no balls cause they are all nuts !
Maybe you ought to start hanging out at mind reading forums.
You know I can't second guess this guy. He was out there all alone. OTOH he may be a freak with a chip on his shoulder. For all we know he may have been loading up on the trigger finger and had an AD. In the past 3 years I have seen two cops with their finger loading up on a trigger. That is an "accident" waiting to happen if you want to call an AD in that situation an "accident".
However there were evidently a lot of witnesses on this thread. They KNOW the perp attacked the cop and tried to unsuccessfully wrestle his gun away!
I was once one of those rangers with a gun and a argumentative boater under the influence of a few beers decided he didn't want an official warning for running in the dark with no lights. He surprised me by whipping out his pipe and saying bang!Wrote him a citation to appear instead of a warning.
No shots fired!
Same place a drunk,high teenager wrecked his mom's car,tore up his temp license instead of handing it to me,then pulls a knife. Disarmed him and sent him to the county jail.
No shots fired!
Now how many want to tell me that they should have been executed for momentary stupidity?
I must admit,that I rec'd almost no training so had to rely on my own judgment. Indiana has(or had) an interesting concept in that many peace officers may be hired and put on the job with full powers which expire in one year if academy training is not completed . Yet there are almost no cases of bad shootings by those minimally trained officers . After the dept I worked for started receiving formal training the new rangers got big heads and one pulled a gun on a woman stopped for speeding. Another trained young officer with several years experience was in the habit of taking his gun out and holding it behind his back during every traffic stop;he was told by the chief to stop doing that.
Maybe we should require all law enforcemment persons to be at least 25 with verifiable non-police employment of at least 2 full years after school.
Cincinnati sent a homeowner to the slammer for shooting a punk that had been threatening the homeowner. The deceased came up onto the man's porch and reached behind him saying he had what he need to take care of (the homeowner). The shooter had video surveillance installed because of his fear of the other and that video was used to convict him because no gun was produced by the deceased ( turns out either he didn't have one or (somebody made off with it,IF it existed.) Guns disappear from shootings more often than you might think if a criminal sees a chance to acquire a "free" gun.
From my experience of living in both New Mexico and Texas, it always has been. (Similarly for the years in Wisconsin.)
A lot of folks in Indiana grow up knowing how to use guns. That may make a big difference.
Maybe freepers=FREE PERSons
It is Honky in the hood.
Well, there is that little known section of the law that says its ok to kill an unarmed civilian because they give you a little lip. At least so I gather. I haven't been able to find that particular section myself.
There is no way this should have escalated into a deadly situation. The 'professional' and 'trained' person here was supposed to be the law enforcement officer. For something as petty as a few dollars, let the man go and have him think that he's won the argument. Meanwhile, get his vehicle tag number and send a lodging bill, summons and/or fine to his address.
"Nope, we call 'em Anglos here in Texas, too."
So all of us Celts are lumped in with those nasty Anglos? I may sue.
I think we should. Just not right.
You, sir, were what was known as a "peace officer". I admire and respect those people. Thank you for your service, and may there soon be a lot more like you.