Rio Rancho Police release video from incident involving teen, elderly man

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - Police in Rio Rancho have released some lapel video from the controversial intersection brawl between a teenager and an older man.

The incident, which happened last week, was partially captured on a witness's cellphone and got the community talking. Many took sides with either the boy or the man. Others were upset with how Rio Rancho Police handled the situation. 

The video has been shared and watched thousands of times.

By the time police got to the scene, the two were split up by the help of witnesses. One of them was an off-duty Santa Fe Police officer who says the elderly man didn't listen to him when he identified himself and then told the man to get off the teen.

In the newly released lapel video, it's revealed that the older man's name is John Moody.

Moody claimed the 17-year-old on the dirt bike nearly ran over his dog as they both approached the crosswalk. Things escalated as they both crossed the street.

Moody: "He starts his engine and cuts me off. So I just took my hand and pushed him away so he doesn't run over the dog."

Officer: "And what did he do after that?"

Moody: "He punched me."

The boy said he acted in self defense.

Teen: "This dude just comes up and kicks me in my waist. Then gets in my face, like really close, like he's about to hit me, and I hit him in the face. I didn't wanna get hit."

The boy told police he was going slow and never came close to hurting Moody or his dog. 

The witness who took the cellphone video says no matter what, Moody instigated the scuffle.

Witness: "He grabbed him up by the neck, threw him off the bike. The bike was still attached to his other leg. So, the bike was still on the kid's leg. Then the guy jumped over on top of him."

When police told Moody what the witness says she saw, Moody called the woman a liar.

The boy's mother, who KRQE News 13 previously spoke with, said via e-mail Thursday that she watched the lapel videos and feels like her son and the older man were treated very differently.

"If you'd be willing to fill out a statement, it's going to help your side of the story with what happened," an officer told Moody.

Mom believes that officers immediately blamed, belittled and lectured her son, which made him obviously frustrated with the crowd of cops that came out to the scene.

At one point, as the teen and an officer keep talking over each other, another officer standing behind the teen wearing shorts says, "You're about two seconds from going to jail, d**k. Knock it off!"

Both mom and the witness who took the video are outraged over how officers handled the situation.

Police say an investigation determined the officers acted appropriately.

Police also say they are recommending both the teen and the elderly man be charged. The teen's case will go through juvenile court.

KRQE News 13 called RRPD to clarify what the charges will be, but did not hear back. In the video, police reference charges of 'public affray.'

Also in the lapel, police determine the teen did not break the law by riding his dirt bike on the sidewalk due to the type of bike it was.


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