ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 has learned that officers with the Albuquerque Police Department arrested one of their own over the weekend. APD officer Donald Correia, 48, was arrested and booked for DWI, tampering with evidence, and negligent use of a deadly weapon, following an ATV crash that police said left his wife “badly injured.”
According to a criminal complaint, APD officers responded to a serious crash investigation in the northwest part of the city on Saturday, May 29. The complaint states Correia and his wife were involved in an ATV crash, and that they both “smelled heavily of alcohol.”
Correia is an officer assigned to APD’s Aviation Division. He told responding officers he was not driving the ATV at the time of the crash. He did, however, admit to driving the ATV home after the crash.
The complaint states Correia said, “when he went home he drank Fire Ball,” and returned to the crash scene on foot. The arresting officer stated in the complaint, “The odor on his breath smelled nothing like Fire Ball whiskey,” and went on to state, “Don went back and forth about what happened and told me he was done talking to do what we had to do.”
Officers said Correia provided two breath test samples that showed he was over the legal limit. APD Spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, provided News 13 the following statement:
He [Correia] did not fly the helicopter, but he was training to do so. We take DWI allegations very seriously and the department will conduct an Internal Affairs investigation in addition to the criminal investigation that is underway. As I understand the criminal complaint, Donald Correia was not driving the vehicle during the crash. He has been on the force since 2007.Gilbert Gallegos, APD Director of Communications
Correia served as APD’s Air 1 helicopter mechanic in the aviation division. Gallegos told KRQE News 13 Correia will be placed on administrative assignment pending the outcome of the investigation.