BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A man in Belen told police to shoot him, while brandishing a large knife. But what officers did next has community members calling in to thank them for handling a dangerous situation well.
Belen Police said the man was jumping in front of cars, and yelling at drivers in the road on S. Main Street on Tuesday. When police caught up with him, dash cam video shows the man wasn’t going down without a fight.
Dash cam video from a Belen Police officer shows him responding to a call for a man jumping and yelling at cars. “He’s approaching me with something, he has a knife in his hand,” the officer stated to dispatch.
The responding officer recognized the man as 33-year-old Robert Padilla. The day before, the same officer cited Padilla for reckless driving near a park.
“Mr. Padilla it’s officer Chavez, let’s talk OK?” the officer said over the PA system. But Padilla shouted at the officer and waved a knife around while confronting him.
“He was very non-cooperative, hostile towards officers,” explained Belen Police Chief Dan Robb. “The officers tried to talk to him, tried to reason with him to get him to cooperate.”
When backup arrived, police surrounded Padilla with guns drawn as he continued to yell at them.
“Drop the knife, please!” Officers give multiple commands to Padilla.
“Shoot me, f** you!” Padilla responds. “I don’t give a f** shove it up your a**!”
“As you can see in the video, he had no intentions of cooperating with the officers in any way,” Robb said. “They did have to escalate it a little bit; he was wanting them to do more.”
The nearby cafe was full of people, and officers noted in the report that kids were going to be picked up by school buses soon.
Padilla refused multiple commands to put the knife down.
At one point, you can see his arm wave as if to throw the knife. That’s when the officer closest to Padilla took aim and deployed a Taser.
Padilla fell to the ground and officers arrested him.
Chief Robb told KRQE News 13 this situation could have ended a lot worse. “I was very happy with the way they handled this,” said Robb. “By just using non-lethal force, they were able to peacefully end this situation without anybody getting hurt.”
Chief Robb said he wants to use that video as part of their in-house training to show officers how to de-escalate situations with non-lethal force.
Padilla was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. His brother told police that Padilla suffers from PTSD.