Santa Fe Schools superintendent uses teaching skills to thwart armed robber

New Mexico News

When the superintendent of Santa Fe Schools came face to face with an armed robber, she says she drew on her teaching skills to thwart them. 

“Of course, I’m a school teacher, you know, I’ve been around a lot of people and kids that are juvenile delinquents. I put my hand like this (gestures) and I wanted to calm him down,” says Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica Garcia. 

Earlier this month, Garcia found herself confronted by a man armed with a large pipe threatening her. 

“That’s what scared me the most, that even if I gave him my purse, he was going to hit me in the head or something,” says Garcia.

The robber and an accomplice somehow gained access to her gated condo community off Zia Road and approached her as she was getting out of her car.

“He says ‘Give me your purse,'” recalls Garcia.

The long-time educator put her classroom skills to use. 

“‘I am going to give you my purse,’ So in other words, I was trying to communicate, calm down, I’m going to give you my purse,” she says.

As she went into her car for the bag, the superintendent did some quick thinking. 

“So immediately, I closed the door, I locked it, I hit the hazards, I put it in reverse, I started honking the horn,” she says. “I only had to honk it like a couple times and they took off.”

She was shaken up. She called the police, and then returned to her post as the leader of one of the state’s largest school districts unharmed.

News 13 reached out to the Santa Fe Police to see if the criminals had been caught. A spokesperson with the department is still checking with investigators. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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