Charges Dropped Against N.M. FF


Lt. Martin Salazar will soon be back battling fires after charges against him have been dropped.

Salazar was arrested at the Buffalo Thunder Hilton casino in February. He was charged with aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

"Firefighters are held to a higher standard, we're a symbol of public safety so more is expected of us," said Fire Chief James Breen.

According to police reports, Pojoaque police officers heard what sounded like an argument coming from Salazar's hotel room. When they knocked on the door, he opened the door slightly and told them, "You ain't coming in here."

Salazar then backed into the bathroom and picked up a full bottle of beer and raised it above his head. An officer drew his gun, Salazar put the beer down but refused to get down, at that point an officer then shot him with his taser.

The officers were then able to arrest Salazar.

The district attorney decided to drop all charges against Salazar, but Breen said criminal charges could still be presented to the Santa Fe grand jury in the future.

"Something happened on that night, and we're not completely sure what occurred there," said Breen.

Breen said if additional charges are filed through the grand jury, the department will evaluate the charges and determine Salazar's work assignment.

Presently Salazar is back in an emergency role within the department. Even though the charges have been dropped, he has a settlement with the city, which mean he can be disciplined.

The fire chief said that they are looking at a new off-duty conduct policy for every firefighter in the department.

Copyright 2010 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.