LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Body camera video shows the moments a Las Cruces police officer disarmed an aggravated man at a medical clinic who drew a gun right in front officer. It happened back in March 2019 at a Fresenius Dialysis Clinic on Foothills Road in Las Cruces.
Police were called out to the clinic after a regular patient, Mathew Roger Smith was reportedly irritated by clinic staff. Body camera video shows while at least two people were in arms-length of Smith, no one knew he had a loaded pistol in his vest until Smith drew the weapon.
“Things escalated very quickly and this is prime example of that,” said Dan Trujillo, spokesman for the Las Cruces Police Department.
A criminal complaint indicates that Smith got mad with clinic staff over an IV access point on his arm. Clinic staff called police, as Smith was said to have displayed “known behavioral issues” in the past, including outbursts and cussing at staff.
Within about eight seconds of Las Cruces Police Officer Oscar Magallenes responding, video shows Smith drew a gun from his inner vest pocket.
“We’re very thankful that our officer was paying attention the whole time and obviously de-escalated the situation,” Trujillo said.
In the recording, Smith can be heard saying “I’m not shooting anybody!” as he appears to attempt to put both hands on the gun. Videos shows the gun falling to the floor during the struggle with the police officer.
A nurse eventually stepped in to kick the gun away from Smith, who was arrested and charged with assault on a health care worker and assault on a peace officer.
“(The) officer had a couple of choices and he had to think very quickly and he went hands-on right away,” Trujillo said.
No one was hurt in the incident. Court records indicate that Smith now has a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear on charges tied to the incident.
Las Cruces Police says it chose to send out the video through a media release after it received a recent public records request for the entire video. The department says it initially held off on releasing the video last year while officers investigated the case.