State Police officer moved to tears after DWI stop

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a normal night for State Police Officer Toby Lafave.

Lafave spotted a driver in a gold Cadilac going 96 mph down Interstate 40, weaving through traffic.

The officer pulled the driver over on the Unser off-ramp. He immediately noticed a little girl unbuckled in the front seat and asked the driver what she was thinking driving like that.

The woman responded, “I was scared.”

Lafave then asked why she was scared, and she said it was because of the freeway. The officer asked Yvonne Ukestine to get out of the car, which she had trouble doing. Then she cut him off while he was questioning her.

Lafave told Ukestine, “I’ve been behind you for awhile.”

She later told him she had just come from a concert. During the officer’s questioning, the woman could barely stand on her own.

She told the officer she was worried about her 6-year-old niece, who was still in the front seat.

In police video, she said, “I think she’s scared.”

Officer Lafave replied, “Yeah, I’m sure she is. I’d be afraid, especially the way you were driving. I’d be afraid, too.”

He then began to test Ukestine, something he’s no stranger to doing. After failing multiple tests, Officer Lafave arrested the woman.

After putting her in his police unit, he found strollers in the trunk of the car. He was speaking with someone on the phone about picking up the little girl when he got choked up.

“Hey baby, I’ll get it, I’ll get it.,” he said to the little girl, as she tried to close the trunk of the car.

At that point, he could barely speak on the phone.

He walked back over to the car and said to another officer, “That makes my heart hurt.”

He was moved to tears by the gravity of that moment, and before walking back to his patrol car, he said, “God, it breaks my heart.”

Court paperwork shows Ukestine struck a plea deal on the DWI charge on Oct. 20. She was also charged with child abuse, but that will be dropped.

KRQE News 13 featured officer Toby Lafave in September after he made his 100th arrest of the year. He’s now up to 113, the most in the state.Read the criminal complaint against Yvonne Ukestine, here. 

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