Eddie Velarde, chief of the Velarde Volunteer Fire Department, is considering a lawsuit against Rio Arriba County stemming from his arrest at a fire scene in March.
Santa Fe attorney Diego Zamora served Rio Arriba County Clerk Moises A. Morales Jr. with a tort claim notice of behalf of Velarde last week.
On March 29, Rio Arriba County sheriff’s Deputy Adam Archuleta arrested Velarde, 53, at a fire in Lyden, north of Española, and charged him with disorderly conduct. An amended complaint added a charge of falsifying information, which was related to an erroneous address given at the location of the fire. Lt. Archuleta’s police report describes Velarde as behaving in a hysterical manner, prompting the officer to take control of the scene and allow other volunteer firefighters who had responded to put out the fire.
Velarde has a status conference for his court case scheduled for June 27 in Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court and a jury trial July 1. Zamora claims Velarde “sustained compensable injuries with resulting damages for which Rio Arriba County is vicariously liable.”
Here is the original article from the incident: