Española Police Officer Gabriel Wadt made it to his Los Alamos home the evening of Aug. 19, but according to one witness, Wadt was lucky he did.
Wadt, 30, was arrested for DWI and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer at 5 p.m. when he allegedly passed out in an unregistered Cadillac, unknown model, in front of his house on 44th Street, in Los Alamos.
Española Police Chief Roger Jimenez said Aug. 21 Wadt was on paid administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation.
“He is not working as a police officer,” he said.
Witness Gary Krugger told Los Alamos Police Cpl. David Randleman that he was driving up State Road 502, which winds up the hill to Los Alamos. Wadt was behind Krugger but Krugger said he watched Wadt’s vehicle meander through several lane changes and Krugger feared Wadt would plunge over the cliff.
Krugger told Randleman that near the airport he pulled over and allowed Wadt’s vehicle to pass. He then followed him and recorded a short video on his phone of Wadt drifting into a turn lane, drifting back into a right turn only lane, then going through a red light.
When Wadt stopped, Krugger states he approached him and asked if he was OK. Wadt said he was. Krugger asked if he needed help and Wadt said, “I’m good.”
Krugger called 911 and Cpl. David Boe was first on the scene. When Randleman arrived, he went to Wadt’s driver’s side window and observed an unresponsive Wadt at the wheel of the Cadillac, which was running, with the transmission in drive. Randleman tried to awaken Wadt but could not. He inexplicably got into Wadt’s locked car and shook him awake.
Randleman states he told Wadt to put the car in park, but Wadt put it in reverse. Randleman told him again to put it in park and Wadt is alleged to have put it in drive and then struck his Española Police unit, which was parked in front of the Cadillac. Randleman reached in and put the Cadillac in park and turned it off.
The report states Randleman asked Wadt for his license, registration and insurance but Wadt refused to provide it. Dispatch advised the Georgia temporary tag was not registered anywhere.
Cpl. Boe was eventually able to convince Wadt to hand over his license.
Randleman states he smelled alcohol on Wadt and asked him if he had been drinking. Wadt said no. He also denied taking any medication, then said he was but “he would not tell me what he was on,” the report states.
Randleman got an allegedly shaky and unsteady Wadt out of the car and instructed Boe to turn his unit facing them and start the dash cam for the field sobriety test. At that point Randleman states Wadt ran for his garage door, refusing to comply to both officers’ commands to stop.
Once Wadt locked himself inside his house, Randleman and Boe retreated and waited for a sergeant to arrive. Wadt did open the door but would not come out. He went to Los Alamos Magistrate Court and turned himself in at 8:40, Aug. 20. He was arrested and turned over to detention.
Magistrate Judge Pat Casados released Wadt Aug. 20 on his own recognizance.
Originally from Los Alamos, Wadt in June 2017 joined the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office after working in construction. He moved to the Española Police Department about two years ago.
Wadt was also charged with DWI Jan. 6, 2014. He pleaded guilty to first offense DWI July 28, 2014 and was given a deferred sentence.
After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to DWI school, a victim impact program, obtain an interlock and community service, among other things. He completed the probation Jan. 15, 2015 and the deferred sentence was dismissed.
He pleaded not guilty July 8, 2014 to resisting, evading or obstructing an officer when a Los Alamos Police officer tried to serve notice on him. He pleaded not guilty and the deferred sentence was also dismissed in that case.
He was charged with a misdemeanor criminal trespass in June 2015, two cruelty to animals misdemeanor charges in September 2016 and again in February 2017 and a felony criminal damage to property of a household member in July 2015. All of those files are destroyed, according to the state’s secure case access website.
Wadt is scheduled for an Oct. 2 preliminary hearing in front of Casados.