Police Point Guns at a Man Trying to Clean Dog Poop
Officers handcuffed a man and threatened to him without hearing his side of the story.
When Mateo Romero pulled into a stranger’s driveway because he needed to stop in an emergency, he did not expect that the matter would turn into a grand debacle.
On morning of July 7, 2014 the eminent artist from Cochiti Pueblo was on his way to pick up his son.
His Shih Tzu, Han Solo, was also in the SUV.
As he was driving along old Santa Fe Trail, the dog relieved himself.
Romero anxiously looked for a place to park his car so he could clean the mess.
The New Mexico route has a dearth of medians, so he had no choice but to park in a driveway.
The resident who was not home at the time arrived shortly after. Her home had been previously broken into, so she was alarmed to see a strange vehicle in front of her house.
The concerned woman called the police.
She also dismissed Romero’s attempts to explain why he had parked in her driveway.
Later she explained she was too alarmed to engage in a conversation with a stranger.
When the police arrived, they did not listen to him either.
In fact, the cops had the weapons already drawn and ordered Romero to the ground.
With the assault rifle pointed to his head, the confused man did not get a chance to explain himself.
He was then handcuffed and placed in a squad car for at least 20 minutes.
A check of the lady’s home revealed that there had not been a break-in at all.
Now, the nationally acclaimed painter and printmaker has filed a lawsuit. He alleges that his fourth Amendment rights were breached.
His attorney Leon Harward says: “he wanted to make a stand about the way he was treated”.
A representative of the police department Lieutenant Andrea Dobyns says the officers were following departmental policy, which allows them to have their weapons drawn when responding to a call of burglary in process.
On the other hand, Romero believes the cops intensified the situation by pulling their guns on him.