Teen asks Albuquerque Police officer for ride home, ends up in jail

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An 18-year-old, who admitted he’d been drinking, asked an officer for a ride home. He got a ride to jail instead. New video shows what happened on New Year’s Day outside the Starbucks near Cottonwood Mall.

Joshua Owens had turned 18 about a month earlier. The Albuquerque Police Department says Owens was drunk when he asked Sgt. Brian Pitzer for a ride home.

“I can’t give you a ride home,” Sgt. Pitzer responded. “I don’t have a cage in the back to give you a ride.”

He decided to call Owens’ mother to tell her to pick up her son. Police body camera video shows Owens leaned in onto the car near Sgt. Pitzer’s window, trying to hear his mother’s response.

“Step back. Step back. Get off my, get off my window,” Pitzer told Owens, pushing his arms off the patrol car and eventually just rolling the window up during the phone conversation.

When he got off the phone with Owens’ mother, Sgt. Pitzer got out of his car to speak with Owens. The officer told Owens to go wait for his mother at Starbucks.

Over and over again, Owens said he wanted to shake hands as a sign of respect. The officer refused, writing later in his police report that he saw it as “an attempt to draw [him] in for a possible attack.”

It almost ended there with both of them just walking away. However, as the officer started to drive off a few minutes later, Owens is accused of throwing rocks at Sgt. Pitzer’s patrol car.

With that, the officer let Owens know he was being arrested. Video shows Owens did not obey commands and, instead, shouted at the officer to tase him.

It was about that time that Owens’ mother arrived. Instead of picking him up, she watched as officers took him down.

APD says a standard use-of-force investigation found that officers followed policies, using reasonable force to gain control as Owens resisted arrest. The 18-year-old is charged with a felony for attempted aggravated assault on an officer for throwing rocks.

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