Veteran, service dog reunited after road rage incident

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A disabled Iraq war vet and his service dog were reunited after a bizarre road rage incident on Monday.

“It was just a traumatic experience for me,” Michael Martinez said. “Nothing I expected at home.”

Martinez said he was exiting I-40 onto Juan Tabo, heading south, when another driver attempted to merge into his lane as he was turning – and then started to tailgate him.

When the two vehicles stopped at Central, he says the passenger of the other car got out and punched out the window using just his fist.

The “Disabled Veteran” license plate and “Service Dog On Board” sticker were in plain view.

With the window shattered, his service dog, Lucky, got scared and jumped out into traffic.

“Once APD arrived, they took a report. I went looking for [Lucky] and I looked for him for hours and hours and I couldn’t find him and I was panicking,” Martinez said. “I finally found him at a car wash and he was just huddled up and shaking.”

Martinez received his service dog from the organization Paws and Stripes. Lucky helps him cope with PTSD and a traumatic brain injury he has from three tours in Iraq.

Martinez says Lucky makes it possible for him to go out in public again – but the trauma may have set the service dog’s training back a few months.

“He brightens my day. He just makes things possible that I never thought possible,” he said. “If something happened to him, I don’t know what I would do.”

APD identified the passenger of the other car as 24-year-old Samuel Millsops. According to police, he had to be taken to the hospital with injuries to his hand.

He’s facing charges of criminal damage to property for breaking the car window – a petty misdemeanor.

According to court records, he was also charged with shoplifting in a separate incident a week ago.

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