Officer Charged with Robbery Was Arrested 3 Times Before
POSTED: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 6:20pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 1:53pm
We are learning new details about an officer who was arrested over the weekend for allegedly trying to steal a money box while working off-duty at a wedding.
County court records show 18-year-police veteran Alberto Madrid was arrested in 2002 for driving while intoxicated and assault causing bodily injury. Madrid was then arrested for a second DWI in 2006. All of the cases against him were dismissed. While the process to fire Madrid has begun, the severity of the allegations leaves many wondering how this could have happened.
"It is very unusual that someone would throw their career away over something like that," said George DeAngelis is a retired assistant police chief. After hearing that a patrol sergeant may have stolen from a wedding, he was very disappointed.
"Especially finding out that he was an 18-year veteran," he said.
According to the court affidavit, Madrid snatched a gift box at this reception hall where a wedding party was celebrating Saturday night. Police say Madrid tried to make off with the gift and jumped in his truck. When several guests confronted him outside, police say Madrid tried to run them over. One witness had to jump on the hood of his truck to avoid being hit. Police say that the witness held on for nearly a third of a mile until this intersection where he was knocked off the car and left in the street. That victim is said to have suffered from back and wrist injuries but is expected to be OK.
The charge is aggravated robbery, a second degree felony, more severe than attempted murder.
"He should be held responsible on all sides, both administratively and criminally," DeAngelis said.
Madrid was working off-duty in his police uniform, something that's allowed as long as the officer has put in a request and gotten approval. We asked the department today on the status of Madrid's approval but they did not know. We've also put in a request to see all of the complaints filed against Madrid. Our request has not answered.
DeAngelis says the department should take a good look at proactive measures to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"It would've been nice to get that help before it came to this," he said.
A sergeant in El Paso makes anywhere between $57,000 and $69,000. If convicted, Madrid could face up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.