LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – A Las Cruces police officer is credited for disarming a man suspected of assaulting two health care workers.
Lapel camera video showed the officer quickly rushing to disarm the man who pulled out a gun while being treated at a medical clinic.
The incident reportedly happened on March 26, 2019.
The Las Cruces Police Department said an officer was dispatched to the report of a behavior issue in progress on the part of a patient at a medical clinic on Foothills Road.
According to LCPD, when the officer arrived at the clinic, he learned the 56-year-old patient, identified as Matthew Roger Smith was aggressive and combative with medical staff and using vulgar language against them.
The lapel camera video showed the LCPD officer make contact with Smith and politely asked, “What’s going on?”
At that time, Smith’s right hand can be seen in the video reaching across his body into his left-breast coat pocket. Within seconds of the officer making contact, the video shows Smith pulls out a black revolver that’s pointed in the direction of a health care worker.
The officer quickly moved toward Smith and disarmed him. The officer wrestled Smith to the floor as Smith continued reaching for the gun that was just inches away.
Authorities said Smith uttered that he was going to use the gun on himself but LCPD said there was no indication beforehand that he was suicidal, and he showed no suicidal tendencies immediately prior to the incident.
Smith was taken into custody and charged with two counts of aggravated assault upon a health care worker and one count of aggravated assault upon a peace officer. All three counts are third-degree felonies.
Smith was arrested that day and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center. He was released on March 29. His criminal case is pending in the Third Juridical District Court.