Fans Must Keep a Football Field's Distance

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Eliza Martinez (left) and First Judicial District Court Judge Jason Lidyard watch a video on Oct. 4 of a brawl after an August Española Valley High School football game in Albuquerque.

A temporary restraining order has been issued in the aftermath of a brawl between two Española families outside an Albuquerque stadium.

First Judicial District Court Judge Jason Lidyard issued the order on Oct. 4, after hearing arguments from two families about the brawl, which took place on Aug. 31 outside Milne Stadium, where the Española Valley High School football team played against Hope Christian.

Eliza Martinez filed the request on Sept. 6 on behalf of herself, her husband Everett, her daughter Ayesha and Kenneth Trujillo. The original complaint states Daniel Arellano, his wife Esperanza, his son Uriah and three minors represented by their parents instigated a fight with them outside the stadium.

The complaint also includes a request for the defendants to pay medical bills and attorney fees resulting from the bloody post-game fight.

According to the complaint, the Arellano group allegedly approached the Martinez/Trujillo group after the game, with several surrounding Trujillo.

An altercation then began, with Daniel Arellano and Everett Martinez exchanging blows. Many in the Arellano group then allegedly ran toward Martinez, kicking him with steel-toe boots and cleats. The complaint then states the group ran over to Trujillo and continued to assault him.

While the Albuquerque Police Department was called to the scene, no charges have been filed so far.

The Arellanos argued that Trujillo and Everett instigated the violence and that they were acting in self-defense.

McConnell then played in court a video of the incident, which was recorded by Eliza on her cellphone.

It showed several of the defendants and plaintiffs fighting in a parking lot. Loud shouts and crying echoed in the background.

Some of the defendants are shown sprinting toward Trujillo, who was lying on the ground being punched. The video ends with a close up of Everett’s face, blood gushing from multiple cuts on his forehead and nose.

After deliberating for half an hour, Lidyard returned with a judgment imposing the temporary restraining order. All defendants and plaintiffs are to remain 100 yards away from each other at all times.

He allowed exceptions for two minors who attend the High School, and for Uriah and Eliza, both of whom work at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

At High School sporting events, Lidyard said each side will alternate weeks of sitting at the home and away ends of the stadium.

The plaintiffs were represented by Kyle McConnell of Weed Law Firm, LLC in Bernalillo.

The Arellanos represented themselves during the hearing, attempting to defend themselves from the accusation that they instigated the fight, with Daniel and Esperanza Arellano questioning the witnesses.

“I’m going to ask you each individually if you’re ready to proceed,” Lidyard said to the defendants.

Each of them responded that they were ready to defend themselves.

From the beginning of the hearing, though, the defendants struggled to navigate the procedures of the court.

McConnell objected to most of Daniel’s questions for a multitude of reasons, including lack of relevance, hearsay and failing to ask the witness a question. Lidyard sustained most of the objections raised by the plaintiff.

For example, Daniel asked Eliza Martinez when she took the stand who instigated the fight.

“You,” Martinez said in response.

Daniel stood at the podium silent, and then attempted to explain to the judge why he, in fact, did not start the fight.

McConnell quickly objected and Lidyard sustained.

Daniel then attempted to argue that a restraining order could not be implemented, because no criminal charge was filed. Lidyard reminded him they were in a civil proceeding, which have no requirement for criminal charges or reports.

During closing arguments, many defendants argued they or their children should not be included in the restraining order. Lidyard said they could have filed a motion to dismiss, but that he had received no such motion from anyone.

He reminded the defense of the many mechanisms and procedures of court.

“Because you’ve chosen to represent yourself, pro se, without the guidance of an attorney, you’re going to have to know how to do that,” he said. “I’m not here to be your attorney.”

Outside the courtroom, Daniel said he might consider retaining an attorney before the next court date, but that he did nothing wrong to require one.

“Since when is self defense a crime?” he said. “That’s my only statement.”

Lidyard said a status hearing will be scheduled some time in November. As of publication, no hearing has been added to the court docket.

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