An off-duty Rio Arriba County sheriff’s deputy and an Española man faced off in the Dandy Burger parking lot, following a road rage incident.
Española City Police Officer Dustin Chavez arrested Erik Roybal, 28, of Española, and charged him with aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony, following the March 10 incident.
Chavez was dispatched to Dandy Burger on South Riverside Drive in regard to a man standing outside his truck with a knife. When he arrived, he saw a man, later identified as Roybal, standing next to his truck with his hands in the air. Chavez drew his weapon and advised Roybal to get on his knees, after which point, he handcuffed the man.
The other man identified himself as off duty Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Casias. He told Chavez he was driving east on 84/285 when Roybal’s truck veered into his lane of traffic. Casias said he honked his horn and continued driving toward the intersection, where Roybal’s truck once again veered into his lane of traffic.
Casias said he honked several more times to get Roybal’s attention. Roybal then got behind him and followed him into the Dandy Burger parking lot. The two men got out of their vehicles to confront each other.
Casias allegedly asked Roybal what his problem was and told him he was an off-duty Sheriff’s deputy, according to Chavez’s report. Roybal allegedly said he didn’t care and asked Casias to show him his badge.
The two men continued the confrontation and Roybal threatened to “sick” his dog on Casias. At that point, Casias walked to his vehicle to get his duty weapon, which he placed in his front pocket for protection. Roybal went to his truck to retrieve a Leatherman knife and opened the blade in front of Casias, saying, “If you have a gun I will use my knife,” according to the report.
When interviewed by Chavez, Roybal’s story was similar. He said he was driving on 84/285, when an SUV honked at him. As a result, he got upset and drove behind the vehicle, but was going to make an exit to Lower San Pedro Road, when the SUV driver made a gesture to him, indicating it was his fault for almost striking the vehicle. He did admit to following Casias into the parking lot and confronting him in an angry manner.
When Chavez asked Roybal if he had any weapons in the truck he said, he didn’t but if he did, he would have used them.
Roybal was scheduled to appear in Española Magistrate Court, before Judge Joseph Madrid, on April 7, for a status hearing.