This from an article in Thursday’s New Mexican:
New Mexico State Police are looking into why an on-duty state police officer showed up at a Santa Fe Police Department crime scene in October.
Although city police never sought his assistance, state police Officer R.C. Brown apparently was called to the scene by a female acquaintance who later was charged with committing a violent assault.
That suspect, Francine Gallegos, 40, works as an administrative secretary at the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Fe. City officers arrested her on two felony charges — aggravated battery with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily harm and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — in connection with a domestic dispute with a female relative.
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“He said she called him and asked him to get over there because she needed help,” Santa Fe Police Lt. Louis Carlos said. “He said he knew the suspect on a professional level. I cannot say whether there is any relationship between the two beyond knowing each other through work. I can say he was not there in any sort of official capacity as part of our investigation, and he is considered a witness now, as far as we’re concerned.”
Carlos said Brown never directly interfered with the city police officers or specifically asked them not to arrest Gallegos. But Brown remained at the scene interacting with people involved and watching during an investigation by two rookie Santa Fe police officers that lasted between two and three hours.
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It is not uncommon for officers from different agencies to assist one another at crime scenes, but when that happens, the officers are often asked to write a supplemental report to assist the lead agency in its investigation. Brown did not do that. Instead, Brown is considered a witness.
Asked if Brown ever explained why he was at the scene or why he stayed so long, Carlos said the officer said it was “because she [Gallegos] called him and asked for help.”
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Neither Brown nor Gallegos have been placed on administrative leave of any kind, according to First Judicial District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco and Johnson. Pacheco said the criminal case involving Gallegos was immediately conflicted out of the Santa Fe office and will be prosecuted by the Taos District Attorney’s Office.
Contacted at her office Wednesday and asked why she called Brown the night of her arrest, Gallegos said, “I have no comment.”
The police report states that the shoe horn allegedly wielded by Gallegos became bent “from the force at which [the victim] was struck.” However, Gallegos’ attorney, Dan Cron, said she was acting in self-defense and also sustained injuries during the incident.
Cron said he had no comment regarding Brown’s appearance at the scene of the alleged crime.
Gallegos was arraigned Oct. 31 by Santa Fe County Magistrate Sandra Miera and released on a $10,000 appearance bond, meaning she did not have to pay any money to be released from jail and only owes that bond if she fails to appear at future court appearances.
Here is a link to Thursday’s article: