Public Safety

  • NMDOT preps for pilgrimage

    The highways and roads that lead to the village of Chimayó will be crowded next week as thousands of people begin their pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó.
    The largest crowds will be seen on Good Friday, March 29, but road congestion and minor delays can be expected any time in this area during Holy Week, the week before Easter Sunday.
    NMDOT District Five maintenance crews have begun sweeping operations and are preparing safe walking areas along U.S. Highway 84/285, N.M. 502, N.M. 503 and N.M. 76. Electronic message boards and other traffic signs will be placed along these routes to alert motorists to the expected large number of pedestrians on the road.
    NMDOT maintenance crews will place trash receptacles along the roads and portable lighting structures will be stationed at strategic locations to aid nighttime walkers.
    The regulation against roadside vending on the highway right-of-way will be strictly enforced to protect the safety of pilgrims and motorists. Parking on Juan Medina Road in Chimayo will not be allowed. No open burning is permitted due to extreme wildfire danger.

  • Council to examine graffiti law

    In a step that may herald a more activist posture to enhance the town’s appearance, the Los Alamos County Council is set to mull enacting a new law aimed at curbing graffiti.

    An amendment to Los Alamos County Code Ordinance No. 02-230 that would prohibit graffiti vandalism and promote its eradication within the county is on the council’s Tuesday meeting agenda.

    Council asked County Attorney Rebecca Ehler to draft the ordinance after a citizen drew council’s attention to the growing perception that graffiti vandalism is increasing within the county and that the current county code does not specifically address the issue.

    Assistant County Attorney Kathryn Thwaits, who drafted the proposed amendment, said that graffiti ordinances are common both in New Mexico and throughout the United States. Thwaits drafted the proposed amendment to be consistent with both New Mexico State statutes and ordinances in other New Mexico municipalities.

    After defining the offense, the amendment reads:

  • Volunteers step up for LAPD

    If you’re interested in the way law enforcement works or perhaps taking part in your community in a meaningful way, the Los Alamos Police Department may have just the job you’re looking for.

    The LAPD has restarted its volunteer staffing program and there are numerous positions available, including neighborhood watch, prisoner meal prep, fingerprinting and records management.

    Recently, residents interested in the volunteer program attended a meeting hosted by LAPD Chief Wayne Torpy and Cmdr. Randy Foster.

    “Thank you for at least coming to listen to us and we would appreciate any involvement you would like to have with us,” Torpy told the volunteers who attended.

    Torpy said the program came about as a way to solve a number of fiscal and logistical obstacles the department had been experiencing lately.

    “We’ve been looking at ways to take duties paid employees had been doing within the police department and lessen that amount of work they have to do, or eliminate it completely,” Torpy said.

    He said his department would be grateful for whatever number of volunteers they could get to help out.

  • Hilltop hit and run

    Police arrested the driver of a white Ford Taurus after he allegedly lost control of his vehicle and hit a parked Honda Civic in the parking lot of the Hilltop House Hotel. Police said the driver was approaching from the south side of the parking lot when the accident occurred Wednesday morning. The driver was later charged with DUI.

  • Man jailed on forcible sex allegations

    Police arrested a 29-year-old Los Alamos man for allegedly sexually assaulting another employee while working an overnight shift March 13 at the Chevron station on Trinity Drive.

    According to police reports, the suspect Carlos Martinez, allegedly trapped a female co-worker in a walk-in freezer and allegedly abused the victim before letting her go.

    Martinez faces three felony sex charges and a kidnapping charge, since he forcefully kept the woman in the freezer until she complied with his demands.

    He is currently being held in the Los Alamos Detention Center on a $50,000 cash-only bond, according to Los Alamos Police Department Cmdr. Randy Foster.

    Police stated the alleged victim came into the Los Alamos police station March 12 to give a detailed statement about what happened.

    She told police that Martinez sexually assaulted her on the night of March 8, the culmination of a series of incidents that made the victim uncomfortable and allegedly sick to her stomach on several occasions.

    In warrant documents obtained from Los Alamos Magistrate Court, the victim detailed how Martinez would follow her around at work talking about sex as he also allegedly tried to pressure into her having sex with him.

  • Los Alamos says surveys show normal radiation

    LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory say two recent aerial flyovers show normal radiation levels around the city and county.

    Los Alamos Field office acting manager Juan Griego says the surveys conducted August 2011 and June 2012 in the vicinity of the northern New Mexico nuclear facility found that radioisotopes and their associated exposure rates are consistent with those expected from normal background radiation.

    The 2011 survey focused on the White Rock community and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The 2012 survey concentrated on the Los Alamos town site.

  • Police Beat 03-19-13

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.
    March 7

    11:30 a.m. — A 13-year-old Los Alamos male reported to police he was the victim of a larceny (over $500, less than $2,500) in the 2100 block of Hawk Drive.

    5:31 p.m. — A 15-year-old Los Alamos teen was arrested on possession of drug paraphernalia at 39th Street and Canyon Road. He was released to his parents and referred to juvenile authorities.

    5:50 p.m. — A 50-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of a larceny (less than $250) in the 2100 block of Deer Trail.
    March 8
    1:36 a.m. — David Norris, 60, of Hernandez, was arrested by LAPD on charges of marijuana possession, (less than one ounce), possession of drug paraphernalia, no tail lights and having a warrant for his arrest from another jurisdiction at Hawk Drive.
    March 9

    9:26 a.m. — Brandon May, 22, of Albuquerque, was arrested for speeding, driving without insurance and driving with a suspended license.
    March 10

  • Crash reported on N.M. 4

    Initial reports are stating a couple on a motorcycle ran off N.M. 4, propelling the two people over the guard rail Thursday night, around mile marker 49.
    According to Los Alamos Fire Department sources, the couple was transported to Los Alamos Medical Center and reported to be in stable condition.
    The crash happened about six miles up from where a paint truck went off the road in August.
    Police also reported there were two other cars involved as well.
    The call came in at 5:31 p.m. and police and fire were dispatched at 5:33.
    Crews were on the scene until just after 7 p.m.
    LAPD said the investigating officer was still working on the report as of press time.
    Once the report is released, check LAMonitor.com for updates.

  • Torpy set to return

    Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy is scheduled to return to work toward the end of March or early April, according to his colleagues, who have been filling in for him since he recently took leave to have open-heart surgery.

    “As long as all the doctors say, ‘no problem,’ he’ll be coming back to work,” LAPD Cmdr. Randy Foster said.

    Torpy left about four weeks ago for surgery to replace a damaged heart valve.

    Phil Taylor, coordinator for Los Alamos County emergency services, has been filling during Torpy’s absence.

    He said being acting chief has been an eye-opening experience.

    “Until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes — and I’ve walked at least a couple of yards — I have a way better appreciation for what cops do for a living now than I did before taking the job,” Taylor said. “It’s been a humbling experience.”

    While Torpy has been away, Taylor has also been doing his regular job, which also meant staying up for 24 hours to help find a hiker lost in the Bandelier National Monument last weekend.

  • Noise complaint leads to felony charges

    A Feb. 28 noise complaint turned out to be something more for officers responding to a call at the Verde Ridge Apartments in the 100 block of Verde Ridge Road. The complainant said the neighbors in apartment A were making too much noise.
    While one officer went to knock on the door, two others stood on a hill observing what was going on in the apartment, through a kitchen window.
    As Officer James T. Keane knocked on the door announcing he was a police officer, Cpl. Brent Hudspeth and Sgt. Jeremy Duran could see someone inside trying to hide and dispose of various bottles and plastic cups sitting on the counter.
    “As I continued to knock, the other officers saw a female, later identified as Amanda Burnworth, moving the red ‘Solo’ cups and bottles in a way consistent with that of someone who is trying to hide or dispose of them,” Keane said in his report.
    They also observed another occupant of the apartment, Kevin Carpenter, attempting to get away from the scene through the backyard.
    Eventually, a man named Kyle Elliott opened the door, and officers in the report said they could smell marijuana coming from inside the apartment, as well as on Elliott. They could also smell alcohol on Elliott’s breath.