ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The squealing of tires and the sound of a nasty wreck broke the silence in a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood.
According to a criminal complaint, it was early in the morning March 11 when Richard Lindgren came speeding onto Vermont Street NE near Wyoming and Menaul in his pickup truck. Lindgren smashed into one car before jumping the curb, hitting the back of another car and slamming through a low brick wall into a yard.
"We heard this loud bang, and I jumped outside," Quirin McCollough said. "At first I thought someone got shot."
Another neighbor who didn't want to be identified told KRQE News 13 Lindgren briefly tried to get away before a group of neighbors confronted him.
"He actually admitted he was drunk, said that he was normally a better drunk driver," the neighbor said.
"The guy gets out of the car, and I could smell it on him. He was completely wasted," McCollough said. "He tells this one guy, 'Yeah I've driven drunk thousands of times.'"
According to a criminal complaint, Lindgren was too unsteady for responding officers to give him a field sobriety test. A small vial of marijuana was found on Lindgren.
Police say he later blew a 0.16 on the Breathalyzer, double the legal limit and enough for an aggravated DWI charge. It was Lindgren's second DWI arrest.
"I just shook my head and was like, there's no way you're getting out of this," McCollough said.
Except as the district attorney's spokesperson Kayla Anderson told News 13, Lindgren is getting out of it.
"[There was] no other option other than dismissing the case," Anderson said. "Essentially the officer involved in the main portion of this investigation, in the DWI portion, wasn't available to come to court."
That officer is 14-year Albuquerque Police Department veteran Dawne Roberto, who was fired in late July. APD has declined to say why Roberto was fired, but her attorney told News 13at the time it was because of alleged ties to Eye on Albuquerque, a blog that's highly critical of APD brass and Mayor Richard J. Berry's administration.
Anderson said the DA's office reached out to Roberto but was told that she wouldn't be available to testify. In this case, no officer means no case.
It's unclear how many of Roberto's other cases this will effect. Anderson said the DA's office will look at each case individually.
The police union is appealing APD's decision to fire Roberto.
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