SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – What started out as a traffic stop for a broken headlight, quickly turned into state police officers busting through the suspect’s front door and tasing him inside his home. Bodycam footage from the night of the arrest is now released.
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The video shows the moment New Mexico State Police officers tased Russel Sandlin inside his Santa Fe Apartment. According to the criminal complaint, a State Police officer attempted to pull Sandlin over for a broken headlight, but Sandlin kept driving – eventually turning into an apartment complex, parking his car, and running up the stairs to his second-story home.
Officers eventually forced entry into the apartment. It’s dark in a lot of the video, all of the lights inside the apartment are off. But you can hear Sandlin’s mom screaming. After a couple of minutes of fighting with officers, they’re able to cuff Sandlin. That’s when they notice his breath smells like alcohol.
Video shows officers asking Sandlin if he was willing to take a field sobriety test, which he denies, saying he’s dehydrated and needs water. After a few minutes of going back and forth, Sandlin does agree to take a breathalyzer. The complaint says alcohol was detected on the breathalyzer but did not say what his B.A.C level was.
Sandlin was charged with a slew of crimes, including battery upon a peace officer, resisting arrest, and DWI. Sandlin’s case has since been dismissed, but those charges can be re-filed. KRQE News 13 reached out to the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office to find out why they dismissed the case but did not hear back.