Santa Fe police defend Tasing of suspect after waking him up

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - Santa Fe police are defending an arrest that was caught on video where a suspect was Tased at least five times.

Police found that man passed out inside a cigar shop. They say his actions when he woke up justified their response and that lapel video doesn't always tell the whole story.

It was late Monday night when Santa Fe Police got the call to Primo Cigar Shop near Guadalupe and Alameda. They found Fernando Atencio passed out inside.

Police said it all started when the 32-year-old drunkenly pointed a gun at people a few blocks away at the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

When they found Atencio, they immediately took the gun from his waistband while he was still asleep. Then police tried to wake him up.

After multiple attempts, police finally got him to his feet. When they questioned him, he seemed confused about what was happening.

Officer: "What are you doing here?"

Atencio: "Um, apparently, I'm getting arrested."

Police said Atencio tried to get away from them, and at 210 pounds, he was overpowering them as they tried to arrest him.

At one point, they said he even punched an officer in the face. However, that wasn't captured by the lapel video. That's when police Tased him more than five times.

Atencio is heard in the video yelling as police continued to use the Taser on him.

Police continued to tell Atencio that he's under arrest. Once the struggle finally settled down, Atencio had one question for police.

"Why, oh why, oh why! Why did you guys hit me in my face?" he asked police.

The Santa Fe Police Department said at this time, the officers' use of the taser looked justified, but it's still under investigation. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

Police said the officer who was punched in the face also had to go to the hospital, and has not been back to work since Monday night.


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